DALLAS (NCBWA) – The Dick Howser Trophy Committee, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, has released the list of semifinalists for the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear. The most prestigious award in college baseball is given to the top player based on two rounds of national voting.
Balloting was done by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in conjunction with the Dick Howser Trophy Committee and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
This is the 36th year of the Dick Howser Trophy. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 8. The 2023 award will be presented at Charles Schwab Field in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the 11th year. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Thursday, June 15, in the 9 a.m. (CDT) hour, before a Friday, June 16 press conference with the winner will be held at 10 a.m., the opening day just prior to the first game of the 76th NCAA College World Series.
This year’s 60 candidates hail from 17 different conferences and 42 different schools. The Southeastern Conferences led with 12 semifinalists, followed by the Atlantic Coast with 11, Pac-12 with six, Big Ten with five, Big 12 and Sun Belt with four each, Conference USA with three, Big South, WAC, SWAC with two and America East, Southern, Summit and West Coast each with one representative. Wake Forest was represented with five semifinalists, LSU had three on the list and Arizona State, Arizona, Campbell, DBU, Florida, FGCU, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Stanford and Virginia each had two to lead the way. Every position on the diamond is represented, including 11 outfielders, 10 first basemen, nine starting pitchers, seven second and third basemen, six catchers, five shortstops, three designated hitters and one utility player. The nation’s best relief pitcher in the nation will be named the NCBWA Stopper of the Year.
The Dick Howser Trophy, presented by The Game Headwear, 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 36 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, Brady Singer, SP, Florida, in 2018, Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon in 2019 and Kevin Kopps, RP, Arkansas in 2021 and Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas in 2022.
2023 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
- Kemp Aldersman, OF, Ole Miss
- Max Anderson, 2B, Nebraska
- Bryce Arnold, SS, Campbell
- Jarrod Belbin, 2B, Campbell
- Derek Bender, DH, Coastal Carolina
- Jac Caglianone, 1B, Florida
- Ryan Campos, C, Arizona State
- Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia
- Jonah Cox, OF, Oral Roberts
- Jacob Cozart, C, NC State
- Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
- Chase Davis, OF, Arizona
- Tyler Davis, 1B, Sam Houston State
- Austin Deming, 3B, BYU
- Kevin Dubrule, SS, Army-West Point
- Eddie Felix, 2B, FGCU
- Hunter Fitz-Gerald, 1B, Old Dominion
- Ryan Galanie, 1B, Wofford
- Jake Gelof, 3B, Virginia
- Lucas Gordon, SP, Texas
- Grant Jay, C, DBU
- Tanner Hall, SP, Southern Miss
- Calvin Harris, C, Ole Miss
- Josh Hartle, SP, Wake Forest
- Ty Hill, SS, Jackson State
- Hunter Hines, DH, Mississippi State
- Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech
- Jeremiah Jenkins, 1B, Maine
- Justin Johnson, 2B, Wake Forest
- Ryan Johnson, SP, DBU
- Gavin Kash, 1B, Texas Tech
- Luke Keaschall, 2B, Arizona State
- Seth Keener, RP, Wake Forest
- Joe Kinker, DH, FGCU
- Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest
- Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
- Shane Lewis, OF, Troy
- Carson Liggett, SP, Louisville
- Nick Lorruso, 3B, Maryland
- Rhett Lowder, SP, Wake Forest
- Brice Matthews, SS, Nebraska
- Omar Melendez, SP, Alabama State
- Cole Messina, C, South Carolina
- Braden Montgomery, OF, Stanford
- Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami
- Ethan Petry, OF, South Carolina
- Alberto Rios, OF, Stanford
- Roc Riggio, 2B, Oklahoma State
- Kiko Romero, 1B, Arizona
- Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Florida Atlantic
- Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
- Paul Skenes, SP, LSU
- Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
- Zach Thornton, SP, Grand Canyon
- Payton Tolle, Utility, Wichita State
- Brock Vradenburg, 1B, Michigan State
- Bryson Ware, 3B, Auburn
- JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia
- Tommy White, 3B, LSU
- Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest