(NCBWA) – 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 16
semifinalists for the 2009 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top
player in collegiate baseball.
The membership of the NCBWA will choose the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy
based on two rounds of national voting. Three 2009 finalists will
be announced just prior to the first game of the College World Series
with a press conference slated for Saturday, June 13, at 9:30 a.m.
(CDT) at the Omaha Press Club in the old First National Bank Building.
The winner will be named in a national broadcast from Lubbock, Texas,
on Thursday, July 2.
The 16 candidates hail from nine different conferences and 16
different schools. The Southeastern Conference paces the pack with
three semifinalists. Nine different positions afield, including
four pitchers, join one designated hitter and a utility player among
this diversified group.
HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
Ackley, North Carolina
Alexander, Air Force
|P Kyle Bellamy,
Mendonca, Fresno State
Channing, St. Mary's
||P A.J. Morris,
Henderson, George Mason
Raley, Texas A&M
|P Mike Leake,
Marquez, New Mexico State
Strasburg, San Diego State
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
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 47 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 2009 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, 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 and Buster Posey, C, Florida State.
2009 Dick Howser Trophy:
• May 15: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists announced
• June 13: Dick Howser Trophy finalists announced
• July 2: Dick Howser Trophy Winner announced on
the College Baseball Awards Show
• More on the Dick Howser Trophy
• Official site (dickhowsertrophy.com)