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Dr. John Olerud to receive Bush Award

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The National College Baseball Hall of Fame will honor the post-college base­ball achievements of an accomplished Seattle physician in July with the George H.W. Bush Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Hall of Fame will honor dermatologist Dr. John Olerud at 7 p.m. PDT on July 16 at Safeco Field in Seattle.

The dinner and presentation will conclude a day of recognition for Olerud, who will also be honored prior to the Mariners' game against the Houston Astros. That game is also WSU Coug Day at Safeco Field.

Olerud was an All-American catcher at Washington State and led the Cougars to the 1965 College World Series under the tutelage of legendary coach Bobo Brayton, a 2007 National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. Olerud then pursued a career in dermatology after balancing medical school and Minor League baseball for parts of seven summers.

He served as head of the dermatology program at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and along the way has contributed to more than 100 publications. His main area of research is diabetic wound healing and developing models to study wound healing. His clinical research and publications have been in T-cell lymphoma.

"Dr. Olerud is a worthy recipient of the Bush Award," said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. "This will be a great day. We are excited to honor him and celebrate with him and his family."

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is named after its inaugural recipient, George H.W. Bush, who played at Yale from 1946 to 1948 and eventually was elected the 41st President of the United States.

Bush, called "Poppy" by his teammates, played first base for the Bulldogs teams that played in the first two College World Series. He also served as the team captain for the 1948 squad.

"The Hall of Fame is honored to present the Bush Award to Dr. Olerud," Gustafson said. "He is an accomplished dermatologist and embodies what we look for in the Bush Award."

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and preserving the history of college baseball. In addition to the annual induction of the Hall of Fame class, the organization presents numerous awards to current college baseball players, coaches and umpires, including the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award and the National Pitcher of the Year Award, during its annual Night of Champions event. The organization was founded in 2004, and the first Hall of Fame class was inducted in 2006. Currently, a capital campaign is underway to raise the $13 million needed to construct the George H.W. Bush National College Baseball Hall of Fame building and create an endowment.

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