National Collegiate Baseball Writers June 17, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Third baseman in 19th recipient of NCBWA's top award

OMAHA, Neb. (NCBWA) - Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon of Lincoln, Neb., has been named the 19th winner of the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy as 2005 college baseball player of the year in balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Alex Gordon cracked 19 homers and drove in 64 runs leading up to the College World Series.

Gordon led coach Mike Anderson's Huskers to their most victories (56) in school history and a third berth in the NCAA World Series over the last five years for the '05 Big 12 Conference-co-champions (with Baylor).

The Lincoln Southeast HS standout remained in his home state to gain future All-America honors, both 2004 and 2005 NCBWA District VI Player of the Year laurels, and nominations (or finalists' status) for virtually every national player of the year honor as a junior.

Named 2004 and '05 Big 12 Player of the Year, Gordon continued his monster hitting throughout his junior campaign.

He has been one of the most respected batters nationally with a Big 12-high 61 bases-on-balls in 69 games for a Top 10 rating nationally in this statistic. The third baseman also has been among NCAA Division and Big 12 pacesetters in slugging percentage with a .740 mark prior to the NCAA World Series to top the conference.

His 77 runs, 92 hits, 19 home runs, and 64 RBI all top the Nebraska charts, but his defensive improvement and hustle at third base have been the difference in a 20-win improvement for NU from 2004 (36-23) to 2005 with 56 triumphs prior to the NU appearance in Omaha.

Gordon recently walloped his 44th career home run (third in NU career history after playing just three seasons) and produced his 45th extra-base hit of the season as the Huskers outlasted Miami (Fla.) 6-3 for the NCAA Lincoln Super Regional title and trek to the World Series. The 2003 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America choice has batted .319 or higher in each of his three campaigns at NU while tagging 37 homers during the '04 and '05 seasons. He is in a battle with Texas SS Seth Johnston for the overall Big 12 batting crown with a pre-CWS average of .380.

"Alex Gordon represents all that is right about college baseball and the 2005 Xanthus Dick Howser Trophy," said Xanthus-Howser Trophy chair David Feaster of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "He has the work ethic and the great character to work through adversity and has been a team leader for Nebraska throughout his three-year career."

The consensus All-America choice over each of the last two seasons also was the second player chosen in the June 7 Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals, the team Dick Howser managed to the 1985 World Series title over the St. Louis Cardinals in the famed I-70 Series.

In three separate ballots by members of the NCBWA and in conjunction with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce, the NU standout is the third college infielder to win the Xanthus-Howser Trophy since 2002. Other honorees were Clemson shortstop Khalil Greene in 2002 and Southern University 2B Rickie Weeks in 2003 prior to Long Beach State ace righthanded pitcher Jered Weaver in 2004.

Gordon has helped the Huskers advance to two NCAA Regionals in the last three campaigns and a composite record of 139-54 (.720 winning percentage) and two Big 12 championships under Anderson and his staff. The Lincoln native also comes from a long family line on the diamond. His father, Mike Gordon, played at Nebraska while his older brother, Eric, was a baseball performer at Nebraska-Omaha. His grandfather, Charlie Gordon, was a longtime head coach at Lincoln Southeast HS.

The Xanthus-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 award.

In addition to Friday's presentation by Xanthus representatives and award chair Feaster, Gordon will be honored during ceremonies at a Nebraska football game to be determined during the 2005 season.

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.

The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser currently displayed at Xanthus world headquarters in St. Petersburg. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep on public display at the university.

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has been the guiding force in Xanthus Howser Trophy activities since the first award in 1987 and has helped the region in numerous baseball projects. It has been a force in both in spring training locales and during the pursuit of a Major League Baseball franchise for the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area and is the home for the Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.

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, and is in its fifth decade of coverage and promotion of college baseball on all levels.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. 1987-98 winners were selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association before the NCBWA became the voting body in 1999.

For more information on the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy, contact David Feaster of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce at 727-388-1000 or Mike Montoro of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Please also visit or learn more about Xanthus at

All-time Xanthus Dick Howser Trophy winners
1987 Mike Fiore, Miami
1988 Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State
1989 Scott Bryant, Texas
1990 Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade C.C. South
1991 Frank Rodriguez, Howard (Texas)
1992 Brooks Kieschnick, Texas
1993 Brooks Kieschnick, Texas
1994 Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech
1995 Todd Helton, Tennessee
1996 Kris Benson, Clemson
1997 J. D. Drew, Florida State
1998 Eddy Furniss, LSU
1999 Jason Jennings, Baylor
2000 Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech
2001 Mark Prior, P, USC
2002 Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson
2003 Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern
2004 Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State
2005 Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska

Related link:
Dick Howser Trophy official site (