Frederick C “Fred”
Hutchinson was born on August 12, 1919 in
Washington. Following an
outstanding high school career as a pitcher,
signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1938, but they pulled out of the
deal when his father, a
physician, demanded a $5,000 bonus. He signed instead with the
Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League and promptly won 25
games and was named baseball’s most valuable minor league player in
the annual Sporting News
became the focal point of some high bidding among major league clubs
and it was the Tigers that finally landed him at a cost of $50,000
and four players. He made his major league debut on May 2, 1939, but
was 3-6 in 13 appearances when he was farmed out to
of the American Association for the remainder of the season.
Hutchinson was 3-7 for the
Tigers in 1940 and spent 1941 with Buffalo of the International League where he
was 26-7 with a 2.44 ERA and 171 strikeouts. Military service called
on October 25, 1941.
served with the Navy at Norfolk Naval Training Station during 1942
and 1943. He was selected for the Army-Navy game at the Polo Grounds
on June 14, 1942 and the Service All-Star team that played the
American League All-Stars at Cleveland on July 7, 1942.
He won 23 games in 1943 and pitched against Norfolk Naval Air
Station in the Navy World Series in September 1943.
Hutchinson was later based at
Aiea Barracks in Hawaii and was a 14th Naval District all-star
in 1945. When he was discharged on October 18, 1945, Hutchinson had attained the rank of
Lieutenant-Commander. He was back with the Tigers in 1946 and was
14-11 with a 3.09 ERA. He won 18 games in 1947 and earned his only
all-star selection in 1951. Arm trouble sidelined
in 1952 he ended his playing days with a 95-71 record over 10
seasons and also batted .263. In mid-season of 1952, he replaced Red
Rolfe as Tigers’ manager, a position he held through 1954.
After a pennant-winning
season with Seattle in 1955,
was back managing in the majors with the Cardinals. He later managed
the Reds from 1959 to 1964, guiding them to the National League
championship in 1961.
Fred Hutchinson, who
resigned from his managerial position with the Reds because of chest
cancer, passed away on November 12, 1964 in
Bradenton, Florida. He was 45.