OMAHA, Neb. (NCBWA) – The most productive two-way player in Division
I this season, University of Houston junior All-American Brad Lincoln
has been voted the recipient of the 20th annual Dick Howser Trophy
as the 2006
college baseball player of the year. Lincoln was honored in a ceremony this
morning in Omaha, prior to the start of the College World Series.
are thrilled to be presenting Brad Lincoln of Houston with the 2006 Dick
Howser Trophy," said Howser Trophy chair David Feaster of the St. Petersburg
Area Chamber of Commerce. "He embodies all the skills of a great student-athlete
and has represented his university in outstanding fashion. His character
counted in the voting and selection process, and he showed great courage,
while facing tremendous competition and excelling throughout the season."
"This is like the Heisman Trophy of college baseball," said Houston Head
Coach Rayner Noble. "An honor like this puts the entire program in the limelight.
Obviously, Brad is in the center of the spotlight with the season that he
had, but an award like this casts light on the entire university."
Lincoln is a consensus first team All-American who has earned first-team
honors as both a pitcher and a utility player. He compiled a sparkling 12-2
record with a 1.69 ERA and struck out 152 batters in 127.2 innings of work.
Those numbers were even better in Conference USA games only, where he assembled
a 7-0 record with a 1.28 ERA.
Lincoln's 2006 strikeout total ranked as the third-best mark in both
Houston and Conference USA single-season history and moved him into third
place on UH's career chart with 293 punchouts.
He was named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week four times during the regular
season and was honored as the Pro-Line Cap/NCBWA National Pitcher of the
Week after tossing a five-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in the series
opener at No. 1 Rice on May 12.
However, Lincoln was also one of the Cougars' leading hitters all season.
In 2006, he compiled a .295 batting average with 14 home runs and a team-leading
53 RBIs. Among his highlights at the plate was when he blasted a three-run
walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Cougars to an
11-10 win over Texas-San Antonio in the season on opener on Feb. 7.
He was honored as the C-USA Pitcher of the Year, while also being named
to the league's first team, but was recognized at DH on the C-USA All-Tournament
Team for his performance at the plate.
Lincoln hit a home run and earned a pitching win in games at UC Irvine
and against C-USA rival Tulane earlier this season. With that, he joined
current San Diego Padre pitcher Woody Williams as the only players in UH
history to hit a home run and collect a win from the mound in the same game
twice during their careers.
"When you talk about Brad Lincoln and his season, the No. 1 thing that
you talk about is consistency," added Noble. "There were no ups and downs
to what he did this year, and what he did was on the brink of spectacular.
And we're just talking about his pitching. He hit in the middle of our lineup
and produced all year long. He is a true Player of the Year, because he
did it on the mound and at the plate."
In voting by members of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association,
in conjunction with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce,
the UH righty joins a heady list of pitchers, who have moved from the Howser
Trophy to even greater heights. Three of the winners in the last decade
have displayed their talents at the Major League Baseball level, Jason Jennings
(1999), Mark Prior (2001) and Jered Weaver (2004).
He was the 4th player selected in the 2006 MLB draft first round by the
Pittsburgh Pirates, marking the highest that a player from the University
of Houston or Conference USA had ever been selected. Expected to focus on
pitching in the pro ranks, Lincoln helped the Cougars to a top 10 ranking
during the regular season and led the Cougars to the Norman (Okla.) Regional
of the 2006 NCAA championship.
In addition to Friday's presentation in Omaha, there will be a special
ceremony at a University of Houston home football game this fall to honor
the right-hander before Cougar fans, students and administrators.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the 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
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 a two-time 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 permanently displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home
of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four.
Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.
The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is in its 107th year of existence
in 2006. The organization has long been a vital force in the baseball affairs
of the city, both in spring training and during the pursuit of a major league
baseball franchise for the Tampa Bay area, and continues its solid role
in the 21st Century.
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 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,
RHP, Long Beach State, 2004; and Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005.
2006 Dick Howser Trophy:
• April 27: Dick Howser Trophy watch list
• May 18: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists
• June 8: Dick Howser Trophy finalists
• June 16: Houston's Lincoln wins 2006 Dick Howser Trophy
• Official site (dickhowsertrophy.com)