(NEW YORK) – USA Baseball announced today the selection of Florida State’s Buster Posey (Leesburg, Ga.) as the winner of the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This year marks the 31st consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player.
In partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of MLB, the award was presented live at the Sports Museum of America in New York. In conjunction with the live presentation, an award show highlighting the five finalists for the GSA was aired simultaneously on USABaseball.com, MLB.com and GoldenSpikesAward.com.
Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia (Atlanta, Ga.); Aaron Crow, RHP, Missouri (Wakarusa, Kan.); Brian Matusz, LHP, San Diego (Phoenix, Ariz.); and Brett Wallace, 3B, Arizona State (Sonoma, Calif.) were the other finalists for the award.
“Each year it becomes increasingly more difficult for our selection committee to select just one athlete for the Golden Spikes Award, and 2008 was no different,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler, who presented the award to Posey at the Sports Museum of America. “Buster Posey, however, separated himself from the other candidates with an exceptional year both at the plate and as a leader of his Florida State ball club. We are honored to present him with the 2008 trophy.”
Posey, the 2008 ACC Player of the Year, led the NCAA in batting average (.472), on base percentage (.572) and slugging (.908). An accomplished pitcher as well, the junior led Florida State in saves (6) and did not give up an earned run in eight appearances. Posey was named ESPN Academic All-American of the Year, and he was a member of the 2004 USA Baseball 18U National Team.
The Florida State catcher was also the recipient of Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and Rivals.com
Player of the Year honors and the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy. He also won the 2008 Johnny Bench Award presented to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. The junior standout was the fifth player selected overall in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
Posey’s selection marks the second time in the GSA’s 31-year history that a catcher has received the award. Jason Varitek (Georgia Tech) was the recipient of the GSA in 1994.
For the first time ever, fans were able to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com. The new Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2008 finalists.
For the past 31 years, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2007 Golden Spikes Award winner was David Price of Vanderbilt University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03), Khalil Greene (’02), Jason Jennings (’00), Pat Burrell (‘98), J.D. Drew (’97), Mark Kotsay (’95), and Jason Varitek (’94). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78).