Newswise — SEATTLE — May 21, 2019 — Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty is being recognized as the 54th annual Hutch Award® winner. Presented by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Hutch Award honors a Major League Baseball player who best represents the courage and dedication of the late Fred Hutchinson.
The A’s nominated Piscotty in part for the courage and commitment he displayed when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Playing for St. Louis at the time, the Pleasanton, California, native was eventually traded to Oakland to be closer to his family. Piscotty and his family supported Gretchen through her illness and subsequent death last year. They continue to honor her memory by raising funds and awareness for ALS, and they launched the ALS CURE Project to fund research focused on curing the disease.
“I’m humbled and honored to win this meaningful award with such a rich history,” said Piscotty. “This is an example of how we, as big leaguers, can use our platforms to help the communities we live and play in. I’m a big believer in the power of science and research to tackle health problems and I credit Fred Hutch for their lifesaving work.”
The Hutch Award is one of the longest-running, most prestigious awards in baseball. Past honorees include 14 Hall of Fame players. The award was created in 1965 in honor of Fred Hutchinson, a standout Major League Baseball player and manager who died of cancer and inspired the birth of the Seattle-based cancer research center.
“Stephen is a great player with many accomplishments on the field, but what makes him really special is how he’s honoring his mother’s legacy by raising awareness around a debilitating disease like ALS,” said Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director, Fred Hutch. “We are grateful to Stephen, the Seattle Mariners and Major League Baseball for joining our team at the Hutch and supporting our mission to beat cancer.”
Piscotty will be honored at the 2019 Hutch Award Luncheon on Thursday, July 18. Over the past 19 years, the event has raised more than $6.5 million to support lifesaving cancer research projects. Former MLB pitching great and 1995 Hutch Award winner Jim Abbott will present the keynote this year at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.