Let me first say that I am a big fan of Fred Hutch. Both of my parents had cancer treatments at the Hutch and/or Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Data from my dad’s care was used in ongoing Hutch research. Additionally, I was on the Hutch Award luncheon committee for a few years and have been attending the luncheon for close to 15 years.
This year I came away from the Hutch Award luncheon very disappointed, however. As you can see from the picture below they have a mystery baseball box at every table. This is a great fundraiser as part of the lunch each year. The list of players to promote bidding on the auction is a list of past Hutch Award winners or the guest speaker from the auction. That is a high bar. Many years, like this year, with Jim Rice, you have a member of baseball the Hall of Fame as the guest speaker. The award winner generally has played for years, been to an All-Star game, played in the playoffs, etc. As you can see in the box I bid on was a Jesús Montero signed ball. Jesús is neither an award winner nor a guest speaker. Currently Jesús is playing for the Toronto Blue Jays AAA team or rather will be playing for that team once he serves a 50 game suspension for using an illegal substance at the end of the 2016 season. I am sure it was in the mystery box as a donation from the Mariners. Maybe the Hutch should have said thanks but no thanks? After getting a September call up for the Yankees in 2011 he played with the Mariners from 2012-15 but spent much of his time in the minors while with the M’s. Failing to make the squad in 2016 the Blue Jays picked him up off of waivers and he played all of 2016 in AAA for the Jays.
This picture show the promotion of the centerpiece. Also inside the box lid which show the contents of the box.
Maybe there should be some appeal of an ex-Mariner signed ball? I guess I am really disappointed that the list promoting what could be in the box was at a much higher caliber of player. I think next year before I bid I might just open the box first. The other perks inside the box are great but a Montero signed ball is far from being centerpiece worthy!
I went to the Mariners fan fest a few days after the Hutch Award Luncheon and saw these prices at the Mariners garage sale booth. On ebay I saw you could by his ball for as low as $9.95. Not that price is any indication of the value.