DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has released the list of semifinalists for the 2019 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by The Game Headwear, in balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in conjunction with the Dick Howser Trophy Committee and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting.
This is the 33rd year of the Dick Howser Trophy. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 6. The 2019 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the eighth year. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Friday, June 14, and then, a press conference with the winner will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. (CDT), the opening day of the 2018 CWS.
The candidates hail from nine different conferences and 20 different schools. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with seven semifinalists, followed by the Pac-12 with six, Atlantic Coast with four, Big 12 with three, Western Athletic with two and American Athletic, Conference USA, Ivy and Patriot with one each. Arizona State, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest each were represented with two semifinalists on the list. Every position on the diamond but utility, designated hitter and relief pitcher are represented, including eight starting pitchers, five outfielders, four first basemen and third basemen, two catchers and shortstops and one second basemen.
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, chairman 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 Florida, 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 more than 30 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 33 years old and continues to increase in prominence and the scope of its reach increases exponentially each year," 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; Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas, 2015; Seth Beer, OF, Clemson, 2016, Brendan McKay, P/1B, Louisville, 2017 and Brady Singer, SP, Florida, in 2018.
2019 Dick Howser Trophy:
Thu., May 16: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists announced
· Thu., June 6: Dick Howser Trophy finalists announced
· Sat., June 15: Dick Howser Trophy presented at College World Series
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