Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is known internationally for its lifesaving research. Less known, however, is the tough, gritty and uncompromising baseball player behind its name. In his short life, Fred “Hutch” Hutchinson became Seattle’s hometown hero who dominated the diamond as both a player and a manager.
Fred, one of three competitive brothers growing up in southeast Seattle, led the Franklin High School Quakers to two city championships as the right-handed pitcher, catcher, first baseman, outfielder and left-handed hitter. In 1938, he barnstormed his way to regional fame as a rookie with the Seattle Rainiers, winning a league-best 25 games and notching his 19th victory on his 19th birthday at Sicks’ Stadium.
Fred then rose to national prominence pitching for the Detroit Tigers, piling up 95 wins in 11 years. He eventually transitioned from player to skipper, managing both of his former teams as well as the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, whom he led to the 1961 World Series.
How Fred Hutchinson saved baseball in Seattle
Jul. 5, 2019 | Zach Gottschalk, Lookout Landing
Who was Fred Hutchinson?
Jun. 28, 2019 | Eric Riddle, KING 5 Evening
Hutch, the baseball hero and namesake for the cancer research center founded by his brother, was born in Seattle 100 years ago
Jun. 27, 2019 | Clay Eals, Pacific NW Magazine
While managing the Reds in 1963, Fred discovered lumps in his throat and chest. He traveled home to Seattle to see his brother Bill, a Seattle surgeon. Bill had to deliver to his younger brother the terrible news that he had cancer. The following year, Fred passed away from cancer at the age of 45.
After his brother’s untimely death, Bill created Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a promise to keep Fred’s legacy alive and to end cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death.
We're celebrating what would have been our namesake's 100th birthday this summer. On July 7 at T-Mobile Park, we're partnering with the Seattle Mariners to tip our caps to a fiery competitor who never quit. “Hutch” epitomized courage, tenacity and grit on and off the ballfield, and we continue to follow his example every day through our research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.