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2010 Johnny Bench Award Watch List


JohnnyBenchAwardLogo WICHITA, KANSAS – The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the official watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza. Fifty-three catchers were nominated for the award by their coaches. Because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 5, 2010.


The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote
among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

“We are extremely appreciative to the Coleman Company, Papa John’s Pizza and Mr. Johnny Bench for supporting this prestigious award,” stated Bob Hanson, President/CEO of the Sports Commission. “They are the ones who make all of this possible.”

While Bench is remembered for his offense, he may have had the greatest impact behind the plate. He was the first receiver to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.

Bench’s career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast.

Johnny Bench presented University of Oklahoma catcher, J.T. Wise, with the award last June in Wichita, Kansas. Chris Henderson of George Mason University and Tony Sanchez of Boston College were the other finalists for the award. Eleven former finalists are currently playing in Major League Baseball.

Previous Winners

2009 J.T. Wise University of Oklahoma
2008 Buster Posey Florida State University
2007 Edward Easley Mississippi State University
2006 Jake Smith East Carolina University
2005 Jeff Clement University of Southern California
2004 Kurt Suzuki California State University – Fullerton
2003 Ryan Garko Stanford University
2002 Jeremy Brown University of Alabama
2001 Kelly Shoppach Baylor University
2000 Brad Cresse Louisiana State University

2010 Coleman Company – Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza Watch List
Jeff Arnold SR University of Louisville
Jared Avchen SR East Carolina University
Chris Berset SR University of Michigan
Alex Black JR Coppin State University
Ty Boyles SR Gardner-Webb University
Ross Brayton SR Cal Poly
Tyler Bullock SR Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Dan Burkhart JR Ohio State University
Tony Caldwell JR Auburn University
Chad Comer JR University of Texas at Arlington
Josh Cryer JR Southeastern Louisiana University
Kevin David JR Oklahoma State University
Aaron Dudley SR University of Toledo
Justin Echeverria SR Stony Brook University
Tyler Elkins SR Bowling Green State
Kyle Enders SR University of South Carolina
Erick Fernandez JR Georgetown University
Kevin Flynn JR Hofstra University
Blake Forsythe JR University of Tennessee
Dean Forthum SR Columbia University
Micah Gibbs JR Louisiana State University
Victor Gomez JR Marshall University
Travis Graves SR University of Southern Mississippi
Ben Heath JR Pennsylvania State University
Bryan Holaday SR Texas Christian University
Jose Iglesias SR Coastal Carolina University
Ed Jayjack SR University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Aaron Johnson SR University of Illinois
Jim Klocke SR Southeast Missouri State
Kyle Knudson SR University of Minnesota
Matt Koch SO Loyola Marymount University
Francis Larson SR UC Irvine
Rafael Lopez JR Florida State University
Myckie Lugbauer SR University of Maine
Kyle Mahoney JR High Point University
Jeremy Mayo JR Texas Tech University
James McCann SO University of Arkansas
Cameron McConnell JR University of Notre Dame
Mike Murray SR Wake Forest University
Rafael Neda JR University of New Mexico
John Nester JR Clemson University
Marcus Nidiffer SR University of Kentucky
Joe Oliveira SR University of the Pacific
Tyler Ogle SO University of Oklahoma
Dominic Piazza JR Cal State Northridge
Nick Rickles SO Stetson University
Cameron Rupp JR University of Texas
Joey Stevens SR Eastern Kentucky University
Beau Taylor SO University of Central Florida
John Turk SR University of Akron
Cody Stanley JR UNC Wilmington
Chris Wallace SR University of Houston

  • Sergio Alvarez

    I very suprised to see that Rob Brantly From the University of California, Riverside is not listed. With the numbers he has put up, he is definitly worthy of this nomination.

    • Agreed…Brantley does deserve the recognition.

  • Andy Teach

    Glad to see Ohio St’s Dan Burkhart on the list again. His power numbers are down a bit this year, however as of today (5/20) he’s batting .361 and having another solid year behind the plate with only 5 errors.

  • Louisville Native

    They have the right person on top! Jeff Arnold, the senior from Louisville is the best. Batting 305 with 30 RBIs he also leads the Big East Champ Cardinals with 14 SB. Defensively a very heady player. Gunned down another one today at Notre Dame. Oh yeah and last year he was named to AD Honor Roll and a BIG EAST Academic All-Star. He is a great kid, one that Johnny B. would be proud of as well!

  • Very well written post. I bookmarked your blog.

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