Raul Ibañez Named Hutch Award Winner
Yesterday was a busy day with Hisashi Iwakuma selected as a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award and the Mariners naming Lloyd McClendon manager. Perhaps the best news of the day (while the other two were certainly great) came when Raul Ibañez was named the Hutch Award Winner.
The award is given each year to an MLB player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, both on and off the field. Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew will give the Hutch Award Luncheon’s keynote address; proceeds from the event will benefit cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Ibañez will receive the 49th annual Hutch Award® at a Jan. 30 luncheon at Seattle’s Safeco Field.
Ibañez has received the MLB Players Association Heart & Hustle Award three times and has four times been the Mariners nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s highest honor for community service. The Sporting News named Ibañez one the “Good Guys” in sports and he also received the Tug McGraw Good Guy Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the BBWAA.
Ibañez is as widely respected for his accomplishments on the field as he is for his character, leadership and community involvement.
His many community activities include chairing the annual Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament; supporting Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, which works to make books available to at-risk children throughout the state of Washington; and involvement with Make-A-Wish®, Boys & Girls Clubs, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Treehouse, Covenant House Pennsylvania and Project H.O.M.E.
He also serves as a spokesman for “Refuse to Abuse,” the Mariners’ unique partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The program raises awareness of violence in intimate relationships through public service announcements in both English and Spanish.