SEATTLE — Dec. 6, 2006 — Second baseman Mark Loretta will receive the 2006 Hutch Award, which is given annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of baseball great Fred Hutchinson.
Loretta, who has built a reputation as an intelligent player and highly skilled hitter and defender, spent this year's season with the Boston Red Sox. He bounced back to a successful baseball career after being treated for malignant melanoma and has since become an advocate for skin-cancer prevention.
"I'm very honored and humbled to be receiving the Hutch Award," Loretta said. "Though I feel some common links with the late Fred Hutchinson, I don't consider myself extraordinarily courageous. Many players have a strong sense of competitiveness and toughness. But I'm fortunate to have a rewarding career in baseball — and to have had my cancer detected early and dealt with quickly."
In a 12-season career, Loretta has posted a .299 average with 68 home runs and 525 RBIs in 1,385 games. This year, he was selected as the starting second baseman for the American League in Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, making him the first Red Sox All-Star starter at second base since 1965. In addition, the honor marked Loretta's second time as an All-Star: he'd been named to the National League squad in 2004 while with the San Diego Padres.
Loretta debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995 after having been chosen in the seventh round of the 1993 amateur draft. He also played for the Houston Astros and enjoyed his most productive season with the Padres in 2004, batting .335 with 47 doubles, 16 home runs, 76 RBIs, 108 runs scored and 208 hits.
"Mark Loretta possesses the perfect combination of courage and dedication, both on and off the field, in the spirit of Fred Hutchinson," said Myles Kahn, chair of the Hutch Award Luncheon committee. "We admire Mark's professionalism and the inspiring way he's responded to his experience with cancer, and we are thrilled to honor him this year."
Along with Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Tony Clark, Loretta is one of two chief player representatives for the Major League Baseball Players Association. He also serves as one of three Major League Baseball representatives for Players Trust, a foundation through which players contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important community issues and encourage others to get involved. Nonprofit beneficiaries of the Players Trust include Buses for Baseball, Inspiration Fields, Medicines for Humanity, the Players Choice Awards and Volunteers of America. Loretta and his wife, Hilary, live in Southern California where they have two children and volunteer with the ALS Association and Children's Hospital San Diego.
Loretta will visit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and receive the award at the annual Hutch Award Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Ken Griffey Sr., will keynote the luncheon. The Hutchinson Center was founded by Fred's brother Bill, a prominent Seattle surgeon, after Fred died of cancer at age 45. The Hutch Award was established in 1965 and was first given to Mickey Mantle.
Funds raised through the Hutch Award Luncheon go to the Hutchinson Center's Gregory Fund for early cancer-detection research. The Gregory Fund was established in 2003 as a collaboration of the Hutchinson Center and The Moyer Foundation, founded by Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen.
Past Hutch Award winners include Moyer, 2005 recipient Craig Biggio, Sandy Koufax and Carl Yastremski. In all, 11 Hall-of-Famers have received the Hutch Award. For more information about the Hutch Award visit www.fhcrc.org/hutchaward.
Photos of Loretta are available upon request.
SEATTLE — Renowned artist Dale Chihuly has created a new blown-glass Hutch Award in honor of the late baseball legend Fred Hutchinson and the cancer-research center that bears his name. The glass piece, formally entitled "Cerulean Venetian with Sun Yellow Coils," was blown last month at Chihuly's boathouse studio on Seattle's Lake Union.
The 2006 Hutch Award recipient, Mark Loretta, will be the first awardee to receive the Chihuly-designed piece when he visits Seattle in January. Larger examples of the piece will be displayed at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Chihuly's glass design is the third incarnation of the Hutch Award, which was instituted 42 years ago with the naming of Mickey Mantle as the first recipient. The first incarnation of the award was a simple plaque; the second was a crystal baseball.
Download a video of the creation of the glass-art Hutch Award:
Christi Ball Loso
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.