(Barry Zito rides in the Giants’ World Series victory parade. Photo by McClatchy Newspapers).
Fresh off playing a key role in the Giants’ World Series title, Barry Zito has added another honor to his resume.
Zito was announced today as the winner of the 48th annual Hutch Award, which goes to the MLB player who best exemplifies the “honor, courage and dedication” of former major-league player and manager Fred Hutchinson, a Seattle native.
The Hutch Award will be presented at a luncheon at Safeco Field on Jan. 30, 2013. Former Mariners manager Lou Piniella will be the keynote speaker, which should be entertaining.
Ten finalists, including Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, had been announced last month. Other finalists, besides Zito, were Alex Gordon (Royals), Ryan Ludwick (Reds), Brandon McCarthy (A’s), Logan Morrison (Marlins), Jake Peavy (White Sox), Dan Uggla (Braves), Rickie Weeks (Brewers) and Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals).
Zito, who won the Cy Young Award with the A’s in 2002, finished his sixth, and most successful, season with the Giants in 2012. He went 15-8 during the regular season, and was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three postseason starts. That includes a win over Justin Verlander in the first game of the World Series.
Zito started the non-profit organization Strikeouts For Troops, which provides the comforts of home to injured soldiers, supported by more than 100 MLB players, managers and coaches, as well as athletes from other sports, corporate sponsorships, and the public. Barry and his wife, Amber, also support the St. Anthony Foundation, which provides thousands of meals every day to the hungry and homeless in San Francisco. The Zitos also support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish Foundation, organ donation, cancer research and efforts to combat global illiteracy.
As with all Hutch recipients, Zito and his wife will tour research labs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center when they come to Seattle to accept the award. They will also tour the Hutch School, which provides education for young cancer patients and school-age family members of patients.
The Hutch Award is selected by a vote of all surviving former winners. Billy Butler of the Royals was last year’s winner, and past winners include Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle (the inaugural winner in 1965), Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey and Lou Brock.