Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez on Tuesday was named the winner of the 49th annual Hutch Award for his efforts on and off the field.
Named after former local baseball standout Fred Hutchinson, the award is given out nationally to a major-leaguer in a vote by surviving former winners. Mickey Mantle accepted the first award in1965 and past winners have included Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey, Craig Biggio, Lou Brock and Jamie Moyer.
“I’m really at a loss for words,” Ibanez said in a release. “It’s a tremendous honor. I’m humbled and grateful. It is extra special to me to win this award while playing for Seattle, Fred Hutchinson’s hometown and the city my family and I choose to make our home, as well as the home of the Hutch Center and the great work they do for patients here and all over the world.”
Ibanez partakes in numerous local charities and this past season hit 29 home runs to tie a record held by Ted Williams for the most by a player age 41 or older.
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The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle was formed after Hutchinson’s death from cancer in 1964. Ibanez will be honored at a Jan. 30 luncheon at Safeco Field; Rod Carew will be the keynote speaker.
Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was named one of three finalists for the American League Cy Young Award. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America named Iwakuma, 32; Japanese countryman Yu Darvish and Tigers ace Max Scherzer as finalists for the award, to be given out next Wednesday.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com. On Twitter @gbakermariners. Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners.