Hoffman helps kids with kidney problems

Updated: January 20, 2005, 9:45 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman has been presented the 2005 Hutch Award, partly for his work on behalf of children with kidney problems.

Hoffman became the 40th winner of the award named for the late pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson, a Seattle native, at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year banquet Wednesday night.

The Hutch Award is presented annually to the baseball player best displaying "honor, courage and dedication to baseball both on and off the field." Past winners include Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose, and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre.

Hutchinson, namesake of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, died of cancer in 1963.

Hoffman, who had one kidney removed when he was six weeks old, and his wife Tracy run the "Trevor's Kidney Kids" program in San Diego, bringing youngsters with kidney problems to Padres games and onto the field during batting practice.

He's also the national spokesman for "Kids First in Sports" and the Major League Baseball co-chairman of the "BigBam! Foundation."

Hoffman also was honored earlier Wednesday at a $150-a-plate fund-raising luncheon to benefit the Hutch School for children being treated for cancer.

"The courage you see from these kids is amazing," Hoffman said. "It makes whatever I've done on the field insignificant. So if I can help them a little, that's great.

"I feel blessed to be able to give, on and off the field."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press