Hutch is the graphic biography of one of baseball's most beloved men. Fred Hutchinson enjoyed a successful big league career, first as an All-Star pitcher for the Tigers and later as a pennant-winning manager with the Reds. But he is remembered less for those accomplishments than for his final major league summer, and a season he didn't finish. In the winter of 1963, after three straight winning seasons as manager of the Reds, Hutchinson was diagnosed with a fast-spreading lung cancer. Having had high hopes for another pennant in 1964, and unwilling to surrender to the disease, the former Navy man chose to stay on as manager for as long as his body allowed. His condition steadily worsening, he was able to guide the club through spring training and then the first four months of the regular season before being hospitalized in late July. After a little more than a week away, he returned, holding out for another nine games as the pennant chase heated up. After relinquishing his post in mid-August, Hutchinson never again assumed the manager's spot, but he returned one more time, spending the final day of the season with his team, whose postseason hopes had come down to the final weekend. He died just over a month later. In his honor, Major League Baseball has given the Hutch Award every year since 1965, honoring the player who exhibits the courage, dedication and competitiveness of Fred Hutchinson.
Mike Shannon is the co-founder and current editor-in-chief of Spitball magazine. The author of more than a dozen baseball books, he lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Illustrator Scott D. Hannig began his career as a baseball illustrator by painting portraits of players from the Big Red Machine. He is a lifelong Reds fan and lives in Miamisburg, Ohio.