When you think of a fiery competitor, who comes to mind? Well, there's a Major League Baseball honor dedicated to just that: The Hutch Award.
The Hutch Award, named after the late Fred "Hutch" Hutchinson. is given annually to an active MLB player who "best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire." Much like Hutch himself, who died from cancer in 1964.
Two Bay Area ballplayers have been nominated for the award: A's Stephen Piscotty and Giants' Buster Posey:
Presenting this year's #HutchAward nominees!— Fred Hutch (@fredhutch) April 9, 2019
⚾Brock Holt, @RedSox
⚾Ian Kennedy, @Royals
⚾Stephen Piscotty, @Athletics
⚾Edinson Volquez, @Rangers @mlb pic.twitter.com/vXp4rlri7a
According to the website, Piscotty's nomination stems from his journey through adversity that began in 2017 when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with ALS when Piscotty was still a member of the Cardinals.
"Shouldering the responsibilities of a Major League Baseball player and of a son to a mother with a progressive neurodegenerative disease 2,000 miles away, Stephen had the worst season of his playing career. Following an offseason trade to play for his hometown Oakland A’s, Stephen moved home to live with his parents and two younger brothers. Six months after the trade, on May 6, 2018, Gretchen passed away with Stephen and the entire Piscotty family by her side."
Posey's nomination was dedicated to the six-time All-Star being more than a catcher, but also an ambassador to the game of baseball.
"Off the field, Buster has focused his philanthropic efforts on supporting pediatric cancer awareness and research through the establishment of The Buster & Kristen Posey Fund in April 2016. In just over three years, the Poseys have raised more than $3 million for the Posey Family Research Grant and Fellowship Programs."
This honorary award was created in 1965, one year after Hutchinson's death. The group of creators also started a scholarship fund for medical students engaged in cancer research to honor Hutch's memory.
Former recipients of the award include Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Jason Giambi, and Barry Zito.