June 7, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: David Feaster
Four standouts left for consideration of college baseball's top honor

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) have named the four finalists for the 21st annual Dick Howser Trophy, which will be presented in Omaha, Neb., on June 15, to college baseball’s player of the year.

Dick Howser TrophyThe four finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy are Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, Texas outfielder Kyle Russell, Rice pitcher-first baseman-designated hitter Joe Savery, and Florida State second baseman Tony Thomas Jr.

One member of this quartet will be named the winner at a national news conference on Friday, June 15, at 10 a.m. (CDT) at the Omaha Press Club, 22nd Floor, 16th & Dodge Streets (the old First National Bank Building), as the 21st recipient of the prestigious award, given annually since 1987.

All four standouts have earned consensus (to date) All-America status and are expected to be featured on next week’s Pro-Line Athletic NCBWA All-America squads.

Price was selected the 2007 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, Collegiate Baseball’s National Co-Player of the Year (with FSU’s Thomas), Vanderbilt’s single-season (194) and career (441) strikeout leader and had 10-plus whiffs in 12 of his 17 starts in ’07. Closing 11-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 95 hits allowed in 133 1/3 innings pitched, Price was selected as the first pick in yesterday’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Tampa bay Devil Rays. The 6-5 lefthander from Murfreesboro, Tenn., helped the Commodores roll to a school record 54-13 season and the school’s first regular-season SEC title.

Russell is the NCAA 2007 overall home runs’ leader with 28 for the Big 12 Conference regular season champion Longhorns. He batted .336, scored 68 runs and drove in 71 markers, while earning Big 12 Player of the Year laurels in ’07. He clobbered the previous UT season home run record of 21 over a month ago, and the sophomore outfielder from Tomball, Texas, also is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. Russell helped 46-17 Texas rank among the Top 10 teams nationally throughout the campaign.

Savery, a junior from Houston, Texas, was Conference USA Player of the Year and one of the most gifted multi-talented performers in college baseball. He leads the No. 1-ranked Owls (52-12 overall) and C-USA champs with a .360 batting average, along with 90 hits, 18 doubles, four homers and 54 RBIs at the 64-game mark. A three time All-American, he also has committed just four errors in 477 fielding chances at three different positions for a .992 fielding percentage. Savery has been the Owls’ pitching ace with a 10-1 record, 2.78 ERA, 17 starts, 57 strikeouts in 87-plus innings pitched, a .239 opponents’ batting average, and two combined shutouts. Most of his batting and pitching stats are among the top five in Conference USA individual totals. He has helped lead the Owls to host the Houston Super Regional against Texas A&M this weekend.

Thomas Jr., a freshman from Valrico, Fla., was the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and leads the circuit in eight statistical categories through games of June 7. He paced the ACC with a .430 batting average, 111 hits, 91 runs, 33 doubles, six triples, 189 total bases, a .522 on-base percentage, and a .733 slugging percentage. He also stole 31 bases in 36 attempts, hit 11 home runs and became the first Seminoles’ standout to collect 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases for Coach Mike Martin’s 49-13 squad.

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. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.

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, Southern California, 2001; Khalil Greene, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, Southern, 2003; Jered Weaver, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, Nebraska, 2005; and Brad Lincoln, Houston, 2006.

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce has had over 100 years of community service since its founding in 1899. 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.

For further information about the Howser Trophy, please contact: David Feaster, Chair, Dick Howser Trophy Committee, 100 No. 2nd Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33701, 727-388-1000.

2007 Dick Howser Trophy:
April 26: Dick Howser Trophy watch list
May 17: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists
June 7: Dick Howser Trophy finalists
June 15: Dick Howser Trophy presented in Omaha

Related links:
Official site (dickhowsertrophy.com)
More on David Price (from vucommodores.com)