May 15, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bo Carter
214-418-6132
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NCBWA NAMES 2015 DICK
HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS

Dick Howser TrophyDALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has released the list of semifinalists for the 2015 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting.

This is the 29th year of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations. The finalists will be announced on Wednesday, June 10. The 2015 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the fifth year. The winner will be unveiled on MLBNetwork on Friday, June 12 and then a press conference with the winner will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. (CDT), the opening day of the 2015 CWS.

The candidates hail from 14 different conferences and 27 different schools. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with eight semifinalists, followed by the Atlantic Coast and Big Ten with four, Big 12 and Ohio Valley with three, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and Pac 12 with two and American, Atlantic Sun, Colonial, Patriot and the SWAC with one each. Every position on the diamond is represented, including 10 starting pitchers, four second basemen, four outfielders, four third basemen, four first baseman, three catchers, three relief pitchers and one shortstop, one designated hitter and one utility player, among this diversified group.

Harrison Bader, OF, Florida Logan Gray, 3B, Austin Peay
Matt Beay, 3B, Belmont Ryan Howell, 2B, Nevada
Carmen Benedetti, DH, Michigan Tyler Jay, RP, Illinois
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas Kevin Kaczmarski, OF, Evansville
David Berg, RP, UCLA Alex Lange, SP, LSU
Austin Byler, 1B, Nevada Grayson Long, SP, Texas A&M
Taylor Clarke, SP, College of Charleston Nate Mondou, 2B, Wake Forest
Will Craig, 1B, Wake Forest Preston Morrison, SP, TCU
Carson Cross, SP, UConn Chris Robinson, C, Morehead State
Bobby Dalbec, UTL, Arizona Melvin Rodriguez, 2B, Jackson State
Paul DeJong, 2B, Illinois State Kade Scivicque, C, LSU
Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida Mike Shawaryn, SP, Maryland
Kevin Duchene, SP, Illinois Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
Riley Ferrell, RP, TCU Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia
Michael Freeman, SP, Oklahoma State David Thompson, 3B, Miami
Carson Fulmer, SP, Vanderbilt Zander Wiel, 1B, Vanderbilt
Luke Gillingham, SP, Navy Carl Wise, 3B, College of Charleston
Charley Gould, 1B, William & Mary  

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 of 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 (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 Dick Howser Trophy was founded shortly after his death by a few friends of Dick's in the St. Petersburg Area who played, coached and worked with him," said David Feaster of the Howser Trophy Committee. "All knew him personally and were aware of him as a tremendous player, coach and friend. The award was initially awarded at the Governors Baseball Dinner held each spring in St. Petersburg to welcome Spring Training to Fla. and as time progressed, we moved the presentation to Omaha, the center of college baseball, during the World Series. I have been involved with the award for over 20 years and have loved every minute of my involvement. I have had the opportunity to meet some great college players as well as some great young men. I am so proud of the Character quality we have in our award, which makes it unique. I am also proud of our selection process by the NCBWA which is the most democratic of any award and provides a true national scope.

"The Dick Howser trophy is now 29 years old and growing stronger," added Feaster. "It is a true testimony to Dick Howser's ability as a player, coach and gentlemen. I am proud to be associated with it."

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 Tampa Bay Rays. 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 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; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011; Mike Zunino, C, Florida, 2012; Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego, 2013; A.J. Reed, P/1B, Kentucky, 2014.

2015 Dick Howser Trophy:
Fri., May 15: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists announced
Thurs., June 4: Dick Howser Trophy finalists announced
Fri., June 12: Dick Howser Trophy winner announced on MLB Network
Sat., June 13: Dick Howser Trophy presented at College World Series

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