PRESS RELEASE FROM USA BASEBALL
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced on Friday its preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The release of the Watch List marks USA Baseball’s first step toward identifying the top player in college baseball.
The initial list — the first ever of its kind for the Golden Spikes Award — features 75 of the nation’s top collegiate talents, as nominated by baseball sports information directors across the country. The Watch List will also be “rolling” to ensure that athletes who play themselves into consideration by USA Baseball for the Golden Spikes Award are not ignored. The Golden Spikes Award is sponsored by Major League Baseball, and 2008 marks the 31st installment of the award.
Headlining the 2008 watch list are Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez and Texas outfielder Kyle Russell, both of whom were finalists for the 2007 Golden Spikes Award. Among those joining Alvarez and Russell on the list are three candidates each from Arizona State, San Diego, South Carolina, Rice and Wichita State. Including Alvarez and Russell, Vanderbilt and Texas also have three watch list members each.
Conferences boasting the most watch list nominations include the SEC with 15 names, the ACC and Pac-10 each have 10 members, and the Big 12 has eight nominees.
“We think we have a comprehensive list of names on this rolling, initial Golden Spikes Award watch list,” said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball National Teams General Manager. “We also look forward, however, to watching the season unfold and keeping an eye on those players whose performance warrants an inclusion to the list.”
On May 20, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 50 names. The final list of 50 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors and current USA Baseball staff — nearly 150 voters in total.
Additionally, for the first time ever, fan voting will be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2008. May 20 will also mark the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their preferred choice for the Golden Spikes Award on www.usabaseball.com. As part of this May selection process all voters will be asked to choose five players from the list of 50 names. On June 3, USA Baseball will announce the five finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented nationally on July 16 at an award show via live telecast from New York at MLB Advanced Media studios.
Past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004) and David Price (2007).
2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Important Dates
- February 15th — 2008 Pre-Season Watch List Released
- May 20th — 50 Semi-Finalists Announced
- June 3rd — 5 Finalists Announced
- July 16th — 2008 Winner announced
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