BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the College Baseball Foundation, has released the list of 25 semifinalists for the 2010 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball.
The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on two rounds of national voting. Three 2010 finalists will be announced just prior to the first game of the College World Series with a press conference slated for Saturday, June 10, at 10 a.m. (CDT) at Rosenblatt Stadium. The winner will be named in a national broadcast from Lubbock, Texas, on Friday, July 2.
The 25 candidates hail from 13 different conferences and 24 different schools. The ACC, Big Ten, Conference USA, Ohio Valley and SEC each led the way with three semifinalists. Nine different positions afield, including five starting pitchers, four first baseman and four third basemen among this diversified group.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award.
Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.
A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.
The winner’s name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg – home of the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays and the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four – along with several other locations. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
The College Baseball Foundation was established in 2004 and has inducted 57 greats into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The group promotes the highest ideals and recognition of greatness on college baseball diamonds in the 150 years since the first intercollegiate contest in 1859 between Amherst and Williams.
The groups also have come together in 2010 to select the Dick Howser Trophy, Brooks Wallace Award (Division I Shortstop of the Year), NCBWA Stopper of the Year, CBF Pitcher of the Year, John Olerud Award (top two-way player) and NCBWA National Coach of the Year. The Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA All-America and Freshman All-America teams, the NCBWA Freshman Player and Pitcher of the Year also are being presented by these national entities.
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008 and Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009.
2010 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
Pos. Name, School
Daniel Bibona, P, UC Irvine
Zach Cox, 3B, Arkansas
C.J. Cron, DH, Utah
Wes Cunningham, 1B, Murray State
Alex Dickerson, OF, Indiana
Mac Doyle, C, Wofford
Chris Duffy, OF, UCF
Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami (Fla.)
Cole Green, P, Texas
Ben Heath, C, Penn State
Danny Hultzen, P, Virginia
Paul Hoilman, 1B, East Tennessee State
A.J. Kirby-Jones, DH, Tennessee Tech
Drew Lee, SS, Morehead State
Joe Leonard, 3B, Pittsburgh
Zack MacPhee, 2B, Arizona State
Mike McGee, UT, Florida State
Anthony Meo, P, Coastal Carolina
Hunter Morris, 1B, Auburn
Drew Pomeranz, P, Mississippi
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice
Jordan Ribera, 1B, Fresno State
Chance Ruffin, RP, Texas
Rob Segedin, 3B, Tulane
Alex Wimmers, P, Ohio State