Sports Chatter: 'Hutch' remembered

Colfax native played in Placer-Nevada ball league
By: Mike Ray
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Unless you are a longtime resident of the Colfax area, the recent obituary noting the passing of Jack Hutchinson for the most part did not capture a lot of attention. Hutchinson, who lived for the past 44 years in Sutter Creek, was a Colfax native, who was involved in sports and community activities and at one time served as the city’s postmaster. An avid golfer, Hutchinson or “Hutch” as he was known to his friends, was a longtime player for the Colfax Fireballs and Auburn Cubs in the old Placer-Nevada hardball league. His granddaughter Michelle Heimann, the former Michelle Cornell, was an outstanding athlete during her playing days at Colfax. Playing basketball and track, Heimann was a four-year varsity letter winner in basketball and was a key player on the Lady Falcons’ 1992 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship team coached by Jim Ryan. Before stepping aside this past season, she had been on the Colfax High Lady Falcons’ girls coaching staff. Hutchinson’s grandson, Josh Cornell, was also a three-sport standout at Colfax excelling in football, basketball and baseball before graduating in 1994. In another interesting note, Hutchinson’s grandfather, Ed Hutchinson, is one of Colfax’s few ties to major league baseball. The elder Hutchinson, according to the National Baseball Archives, played for the Chicago Cubs in 1890, going 1 for 17 with a double and handling six chances at second base without an error. Some of Hutchinson’s teammates back in the 1950s on the Fireballs included current Colfax residents Bud Barnes, Ken Barnes, Ocho Bravo and Bob Sinnock and the late Ed Fontana, Ozzie Marson and Woody Hill. And in a moving gesture following Hutchinson’s passing, Hill’s daughter, Lynette Ainslie of Woodway, Wash., recently made a $500 donation to the Colfax Recreation Association in Hutchinson’s memory. The Recreation Association, a longtime non-profit organization which helps promote sports in the local area will use the donation for a local project to be designated at a later date.