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Diekman honored with Hutch Award

Rangers lefty overcame three surgeries in 2017 to return to mound
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman has been selected as the recipient of the 53rd Hutch Award and will be honored on Jan. 24 in Seattle. Diekman is the first Rangers player to receive the honor.

The award is presented annually by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. It honors the Major League player who "best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire" of former Major League pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson, who passed away from cancer at age 45 in 1964 while managing the Cincinnati Reds.

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman has been selected as the recipient of the 53rd Hutch Award and will be honored on Jan. 24 in Seattle. Diekman is the first Rangers player to receive the honor.

The award is presented annually by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. It honors the Major League player who "best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire" of former Major League pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson, who passed away from cancer at age 45 in 1964 while managing the Cincinnati Reds.

Tweet from @fredhutch: Your 2017 #HutchAward winner is... @JakeDiekman of the @Rangers! Jake's battled ulcerative colitis since childhood and is an inspiration and advocate for @CrohnsColitisFn. Join us and keynote guest, HOF Randy Johnson, for the Hutch Award luncheon Jan 24. https://t.co/IuPc5bY3Nu pic.twitter.com/SfYZcJJv4N

Diekman has been dealing with ulcerative colitis for much of his life and underwent three operations in the past year to remove his colon and replace it with a reservoir. Following the surgeries on Jan. 25, April 12, and June 9, Diekman made a remarkable recovery and returned to the Rangers in September. He ended up with a 2.53 ERA in 11 appearances.

In August 2017, Jake and his fiancé, Amanda Soltero, announced the creation of the Gut It Out Foundation to further raise awareness and funding. Diekman will be honored at the 2018 Hutch Award Luncheon presented by Premera Blue Cross on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at Seattle's Safeco Field. Hutchinson was a native of Seattle.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Jake Diekman