Dontrelle is a finalist for the Hutch Award.
-- Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati Reds
-- Orlando Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks
-- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
-- Mark Loretta, Boston Red Sox
-- Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
-- Brad Radke, Minnesota Twins
-- Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
-- Jim Thome, Chicago White Sox
-- Dontrelle Willis, Florida Marlins
-- Barry Zito, Oakland Athletics
The 2006 Hutch Award recipient will be selected in mid-November through a vote of all surviving former awardees. Through the years 41 players have been honored. Mickey Mantle accepted the inaugural award in 1965, the year after baseball great Fred Hutchinson (known as "Hutch") succumbed to cancer at age 45.
The Hutch Award is given annually to the major-league baseball player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Hutch. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center -- which was named in Hutch's honor by his brother Bill, a surgeon -- is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the understanding, treatment and prevention of cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.
I was only vaguely familiar with the award before I read the article. But after reading it and checking the names on the list, I think Dontrelle would be an excellent choice to be this year's recipient. I know I'm biased but Willis has been giving back to the community ever since he became a professional ball player and most likely before that. I know of no other player who posses his spirit and competitiveness on the field. Maybe the others do too, I can't speak to that, but the Marlins have one fine person representing them on the list.