Hutch Award Luncheon
In 1999, Barry Zito was selected by the Oakland Athletics as the ninth overall pick in the first round of the draft and made his major league debut on July 22, 2000. During an impressive rookie season, Zito posted a 7 – 4 record and finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year vote. By 2002, Zito had become easily one of the best pitchers in baseball and was named to his first All-Star team. He became the first pitcher in the American League to win 20 games and went on to win the American League Cy Young Award with a 23 – 5 record.
Following his seventh season with the Athletics, Zito signed a seven-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. He posted double-digit wins in his first three seasons and in 2010 he helped San Francisco win their first championship since the team moved West in 1958. After sitting out part of the 2011 season with a foot and ankle injury, he came back in 2012 and finished with an illustrious 15 – 8 record, his best in a Giants uniform. In October, Zito helped lead the Giants to another World Series title by going 2 – 0 with a 1.69 ERA in three post-season starts. In his first career World Series start, he outdueled Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Game 1, setting the stage for San Francisco’s sweep to their seventh World Series title in franchise history.
Off the field, Zito is a philanthropist. He founded the nonprofit organization Strikeouts For Troops, supported by more than 100 MLB players, coaches and managers, athletes from other sports, corporate sponsors and the public, to provide comforts of home to injured troops. Additionally, the foundation works to lift the morale and spirits of wounded U.S. troops and their families undergoing treatment at military hospitals nationwide. Barry and his wife, Amber, also support the St. Anthony Foundation, which provides thousands of meals every day to San Francisco’s hungry and homeless. They also support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish Foundation, global illiteracy, organ donation and cancer research.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is honored to welcome and pay tribute to Barry Zito as the 48th annual Hutch Award winner.