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.
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.
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
2005 Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska
• Dick Howser Trophy
official site (dickhowsertrophy.com)