(Curt Schilling, shown here during the American League Championship Series in 2007, will speak at a Husky Baseball banquet on Feb. 5. Photo by Associated Press).
This is the week when it really hits home that spring training is approaching at blinding speed (pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13 — that’s 19 days away).
All sorts of baseball gatherings are on tap in the coming days, starting with one of my favorite events of the year, the Hutch Award Luncheon tomorrow (Wednesday) at Safeco Field. Braves pitcher Tim Hudson will receive this year’s award, while Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will be the keynote speaker. I’ve interviewed the winners for the last 12 or 13 years, and without exception, they are truly humbled and awed by the honor, and deeply touched by the doctors and cancer patients they meet.
On Wednesday night, the Sports Star of the Year show, sponsored this year by Root Sports, will take place at Benaroya Hall, starting at 5 p.m. UW product Tim Lincecum is a nominee for pro sports star of the year (along with Swin Cash of the Storm, Fredy Montero of the Sounders, Lewis Ratcliff of the Stealth, and Mike Williams of the Seahawks). The Mariners have two nominees for sports story of the year — Felix Hernandez’s Cy Young, and Ichiro’s 10th straight season of 200 hits. Other nominees in that category are the Storm’s WNBA title, the Auburn Little League’s run to the World Series, and the Stealth’s National Lacrosse League championship.
The Mariners on Thursday will hold their annual “Pre-Spring Training Luncheon” for the media, during which new manager Eric Wedge, general manager Jack Zduriencik and many other team officials, as well as selected players — possibly including Felix Hernandez — will hold court. It will be interesting to hear how they’re going to be characterizing the challenges ahead.
The 13th annual Mariners FanFest will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Safeco Field, running each day from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Among the players scheduled to attend are Felix Hernandez, Chone Figgins, Michael Saunders, Miguel Olivo, Jason Vargas, Brandon League and Dustin Ackley, as well as former players Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson and Bret Boone.
The Husky baseball program landed a big fish, coaxing Curt Schilling to serve as keynote speaker at their 2011 UW Baseball First Pitch Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 5 in the Conibear Shellhouse. Schiling, a three-time World Series champion, played junior college baseball under current Husky pitching coach Dave Dangler at Yavapai Junior College in Arizona. More details are available here. No word on whether Schilling will wear his bloody sock.