(Billy Butler is doused by teammate Melky Cabrera after a game-winning homer against the Angels last June. Photo by Associated Press).
Royals designated hitter Billy Butler today was named as the recipient of the 47th annual Hutch Award. It is given to the MLB player who “best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication” of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson, a former major-league pitcher and manager who died of cancer in 1964 at age 45. Fred’s brother Bill, a prominent Seattle surgeon, founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Butler will receive the Hutch Award at a luncheon on Feb. 1 at Safeco Field. Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will be the keynote speaker.
Butler, 25, started the Hit-It-A-Ton campaign with his wife in 2008 to help feed disadvantaged familes in the Kansas City area. In its first three years, the campaign raised more than $200,000.
The Hutch Award is selected annually by a vote of all surviving former award winners, a list that includes Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey and Lou Brock.
Last year’s winner was Tim Hudson of the Braves.