Drayer: Hutch Award winner Dee Gordon makes most of virtual ceremony

May 27, 2020, 6:52 PM | Updated: 7:43 pm
Mariners 2B Dee Gordon...
Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon is the 55th Fred Hutch Award winner. (AP)

In a normal year, Hutch Award winner Dee Gordon would have been honored at a luncheon on outfield grass at T-Mobile Park prior to a ballgame.

Previously: Dee Gordon named 55th annual Hutch Award winner

Earlier in the day he would have toured the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center campus, had the opportunity to talk with award-winning scientists who are working to find cures to cancer and meet with the children of patients at the Hutch School. It’s always been an incredible and eye-opening day for the previous Hutch Award winners.

This of course is a different time and circumstances required a different celebration, this one online. Hosted by Rick Rizzs and Mike Gastineau, Gordon participated from his home in Florida, and viewers were treated to an hour of baseball talk with former Hutch Award winners Raúl Ibañez and Jamie Moyer and Clemente Award winner Harold Reynolds.

The award, which is housed at the Baseball Hall of Fame, is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit of Fred Hutchinson. The luncheon is a fund raiser for the FHCRC, which has now turned much of its focus to battling COVID-19. The award is named after the former Major Leaguer and manager who hailed from Seattle and died of cancer at the age of 45. His brother, Dr. Bill Hutchinson, founded the research center in 1965 with the first Hutch Award being given that year to Mickey Mantle.

“This award is amazing,” said Gordon. “I am just so happy and blessed to be a part of this and be the 55th award winner with the Hall of Fame pedigree that comes with this award. My family and I are amazed to be the winner of it.”

Gordon was then joined by Ibañez, Moyer and Reynolds, which appeared to be a treat for him as he had history with all three men. Moyer lockered next to Dee’s father Tom Gordon when they played for the Phillies and often got an earful from the younger Gordon, who would tell him time and time again that one day, he would be a professional ballplayer too.

“He would always tell me make sure you get your degree, make sure you stay in school,” Gordon remembered about Moyer. “And I just watched the things he did and now to have him here for me, getting an award for doing good things, this just brings it full circle. It’s crazy, everyone on the panel I have a side story with. I met Harold when I was a little kid on the airplane. Raúl played with my dad in ’09.”

Gordon revealed that while his time was short with both men growing up as his dad moved around the game a lot, he took a little something with him from them when he left.

“I can tell them now,” he said with a laugh. “I stole… Jamie had a these thick-handle bats and I used Raúl’s bats. They were so heavy, I could use them as weighted bats. I can tell them now, I appreciate it!”

No hard feelings for either transgression. Gordon has more than made up for the youthful transgression, according to Ibañez.

“The impact that you are making outside the game of baseball, the impact that you are making as a man, a human being, it’s going to transcend anything you do on the field,” he said. “I think it speaks volumes to the character of the man and the individual and the impact on the lives that you are making on those around you. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this or of you as a man, a great player yes, but as a human being even greater.”

Gordon has a long history of giving back. From his Flash of Hope program to support families of victims of domestic violence to the work he has done overseas in impoverished areas to more recently providing thousands of meals to needy families during the coronavirus shutdown, giving back is a part of who Dee Gordon is.

“I’ve got an uncle Anthony and aunt Donna, they go far and beyond for our family and others,” Gordon said. “Me doing it is just water under the bridge to the fact that they do it every day on a normal life. I do it to make sure I hold my family legacy to the people that they are a high standard as well. Honestly just growing up I just had a soft spot if somebody didn’t have the same blessings I had, that’s why.”

To support the Hutch and their research, go to the organization’s website here.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

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