FROM USA BASEBALL
ST. LOUIS — USA Baseball announced Tuesday the selection of San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg as the winner of the 2009 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. This year marks the 32nd 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 and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of MLB, the award was presented live at MLB All-Star FanFest in St. Louis. 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.
Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), Mike Leake (Arizona State), Kent Matthes (Alabama), and A.J. Morris (Kansas State) were the other finalists for the award.
“Once again in 2009 we were faced with an incredibly strong collection of candidates for the Golden Spikes Award,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler, who presented the award to Strasburg at All-Star FanFest. “Stephen Strasburg’s performance this year stood out among the finalists, however, both statistically and in his leading of San Diego State to its first NCAA tournament appearance in nearly two decades. We are honored to recognize Stephen with the Golden Spikes Award, and we wish him and the other finalists success as professionals.”
Strasburg was selected as the National Player of the Year and as a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Strasburg led the nation in strikeouts (195) in 2009, and the two-time Mountain West Conference (MWC) Pitcher of the Year finished league play with a conference-best 7-0 record (13-1 overall), an ERA of 1.50 (1.32 overall) and 111 strikeouts.
The junior standout was also recently honored with the Dick Howser Trophy as the college baseball player of the year. He received player of the year recognition from Baseball America as well, and he was also named the 2009 College Baseball Foundation Pitcher of the Year. In addition to the accolades, Strasburg was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Washington Nationals.
The selection of Strasburg marked the third time in four years that a pitcher has received the GSA (David Price of Vanderbilt, 2007; Tim Lincecum of Washington, 2006). He is also the second Aztec to win the award, following Travis Lee in 1996.
For the second year in a row, 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 Golden Spikes Award, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2009 finalists.
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first ever presentation of the trophy to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
The 2008 GSA winner was Buster Posey of Florida State. Past winners of the prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as David Price (’07), 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).