BY SPNW Staff 04:26PM 01/05/2012

Royals' Billy Butler Named Winner Of Hutch Award

The Fred Hutchinson Award presentation raises funds to benefit early cancer detection research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Kansas City's Billy Butler, playing first base, has been named the winner of the Hutch Award. The presentation ceremony will be Hutch Award presentation will take place Feb. 1 in Seattle. / Wiki Commons

Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler will receive the 47th annual Hutch Award,  given annually to a major league baseball player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, on and off the field.

Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will give the keynote address at the Hutch Award Luncheon Feb. 1 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Fred Hutchinson’s hometown. The event raises funds to benefit early cancer detection research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Butler is the fifth member of the Kansas City franchise to win the Hutch Award, following George Brett (1980), Dennis Leonard (1986), Mike Sweeney (2007) and Mark Teahen (2009).

Butler, a 25-year-old native of Orange Park, FL., made his MLB debut with the Royals in 2007, having been selected out of high school in the first round of the 2004 draft.

In his rookie season, Butler batted .292 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs. Two years later, he hit .301 while surpassing 500 at bats.

Despite his desire to play in the field, Butler was given full-time duty as the Royals’ designated hitter in 2011. He turned the assignment into an opportunity to become one of the most consistent hitters in the American League, finishing the season with a .291 batting average, 44 doubles, 95 RBIs and 19 home runs.

Off the field, Butler is known for his selfless attitude and desire to help others. In 2008, Butler and his wife, Katie, started the Hit-It-A-Ton campaign to help feed disadvantaged families in the Kansas City area. Through the program, $250 is donated for each home run Butler hits (and $125 for each double).

In its first three years, the campaign raised in excess of $200,000, providing more than 960 tons of food through two food banks and a community kitchen run by Kansas City’s Bishop Sullivan Center.

When Butler arrives in Seattle to receive his award, he will visit cancer research labs at the Hutchinson Center as well as the Hutch School, a unique K-12 accredited education program that serves young cancer patients and school-age family members of patients.

The Hutch Award recipient is selected annually through a vote of all surviving former awardees. A total of 46 players have been honored since 1965, when Mickey Mantle accepted the inaugural award.

Baseball Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey and Lou Brock all received the Hutch Award.

In more recent years Jamie Moyer, Craig Biggio, Jon Lester, Mark Teahen and Tim Hudson have joined their ranks.

Hutch Award Winners (1965-11)

Year Winner Team
1965 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees
1966 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
1967 Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox
1968 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds
1969 Al Kaline Detroit Tigers
1970 Tony Conigliaro Boston Red Sox
1971 Joe Torre St. Louis Cardinals
1972 Bobby Tolan Cincinnati Reds
1973 John Hiller Detroit Tigers
1974 Danny Thompson Minnesota Twins
1975 Gary Nolan Cincinnati Reds
1976 Tommy John Los Angeles Dodgers
1977 Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants
1978 Willie Stargell Pittsburgh Pirates
1979 Lou Brock St. Louis Cardinals
1980 George Brett Kansas City Royals
1981 Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds
1982 Andre Thornton Cleveland Indians
1983 Ray Knight Houston Astros
1984 Don Robinson Pittsburgh Pirates
1985 Rick Reuschel Pittsburgh Pirates
1986 Dennis Leonard Kansas City Royals
1987 Paul Molitor Milwaukee Brewers
1988 Ron Oester Cincinnati Reds
1989 Dave Dravecky San Francisco Giants
1990 Sid Bream Pittsburgh Pirates
1991 Bill Wegman Milwaukee Brewers
1992 Carney Lansford Oakland Athletics
1993 John Olerud Toronto Blue Jays
1994 Andre Dawson Boston Red Sox
1995 Jim Abbott California Angels
1996 Omar Vizquel Cleveland Indians
1997 Eric Davis Baltimore Orioles
1998 David Cone New York Yankees
1999 Sean Casey Cincinnati Reds
2000 Jason Giambi Oakland Athletics
2001 Curt Schilling Arizona Diamondbacks
2002 Tim Salmon Anaheim Angels
2003 Jamie Moyer Seattle Mariners
2004 Trevor Hoffman San Diego Padres
2005 Craig Biggio Houston Astros
2006 Mark Loretta Boston Red Sox
2007 Mike Sweeney Kansas City Royals
2008 Jon Lester Boston Red Sox
2009 Mark Teahen Kansas City Royals
2010 Tim Hudson Atlanta Braves
2011 Billy Butler Kansas City Royals

YourThoughts

  • Anonymous

    Steve, perhaps the biggest variable that separates Martin and Alexander and may be most indicative of whether Shaun gets in is Martin played in Boston and New York.   Alexander played in southern Alaska as Jimmy Johnson put it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7DNYX3Y6RZK7JBRP5SYBYG4TE RockStar

    If the voters did their job, Cris Carter would be in the hall, as would Parcels, instead the voters are egotistical, bitter people who don’t even deserve to cast a vote.  

    What gives them the right to punish athletes for their (the writers) opinion of them, while completely ignoring statistics?  We can only hope they are met with the same ignorance and bias in their lives at some point.

  • Kelly9725

    Shaun had 112 total TD’s in his career. 100 rushing and 12 receiving.