Georgia's Condon wins 2024 Dick Howser Trophy

Charlie Condon leads the nation in batting average (.433), slugging percentage (1.009), home runs (37) and total bases (233).
Charlie Condon leads the nation in batting average (.433), slugging percentage (1.009), home runs (37) and total bases (233).

OMAHA, Nebraska (NCBWA) – Georgia 3B-1B-OF Charlie Condon, who produced one of the top hitting performances in Southeastern Conference history this season, is the 37th recipient of the 2024 Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear.

Condon’s numbers speak for themselves. He leads NCAA Division I in batting average at .433, slugging percentage at 1.009, home runs with 37 (the most in a season by a Division I player since Lance Berkman of Rice with 41 in 1997) and total bases with 233 and ranks third in the nation with 100 hits and fifth in runs scored with 84.

The 6-foot-6, 216-pound dual-position sophomore from Marietta, Georgia (The Walker School), also is in the top three in 11 different SEC individual hitting categories and was a force in the Bulldogs’ 43-17 season and NCAA Athens Region title. The Bulldogs were one win away from advancing to their first NCAA World Series since 2008.

The consensus first team All-America choice also becomes the first Georgia Bulldog to earn the Dick Howser Trophy honor to go along with SEC Player of the Year laurels on his hefty resume. He also is the 10th standout from the SEC to earn the Howser Trophy.

Condon, who was named the player of the year by Perfect Game and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, has led the nation almost from the opening week of ’24 with his sizzling batwork and long ball hitting. The next player in NCAA home run standings is Roman Kuntz of Morehead State with 33, and Condon is five percentage points higher than the No. 2 hitter nationally - Joshua Kuroda-Grauer of Rutgers at .428. He was on pace to break at least six school individual season records and already owns the Bulldogs’ career mark with 62 home runs.

The Georgia native has been a multi-time SEC Player of the Week as well as NCBWA National Player of the Week for April 9-15 and NCBWA Division I Player of the Month for February.

In Wes Johnson’s first season at Georgia, Condon helped the Bulldogs make their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since 2008. The Bulldogs swept three opponents in this year’s Athens Regionals before advancing to face NC State in the Athens Super Regional.

Condon, part of a Georgia baseball legacy that produced the SEC’s first NCAA baseball title in 1990, first displayed his greatness as a 2023 All-SEC and Freshman All-America standout for former coach Scott Stricklin with 25 home runs, 67 RBI and a .386 average – tops among all SEC freshmen players that season. The standout 3B-1B-OF has been a team leader and offensive catalyst throughout 2024.

The 2023 American Baseball Coaches All-Region team member (2024 ABCA selections are upcoming) and nominee for 2024 state of Georgia Athlete of the Year also is in the running for the 2024 Bobby Bragan Slugger of the Year Award presented by the Bragan Educational Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas.

Georgia’s multi-category statistical leader also sports a .976 fielding percentage while playing first base and in the outfield with 163 total chances and just four errors while playing multiple positions.

He is the winner among a sterling field of 2024 Howser Trophy finalists: junior second baseman Travis Bazzana of Oregon State, junior pitcher Chase Burns of Wake Forest, junior first baseman/pitcher Jac Caglianone of Florida, and junior starting pitcher Hagen Smith of Arkansas.

Condon’s rich family background in athletics includes his cousin Owen Condon who starred for Georgia’s 2021 College Football Playoff championship squad and was a graduate transfer offensive lineman at SMU in 2022. The Georgia star also had an outstanding summer season with Falmouth of the Cape Cod Amateur League after his freshman year.

The announcement of the trophy honor was made at a national news conference Friday after extensive national balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association at Charles Schwab Park – site of the NCAA World Series June 14-23/24.

“Charlie Condon has had a season to remember and has delivered a solid performance for Georgia’s 2023 and 2024 teams,” Howser Trophy chairman David Feaster said. “He epitomizes the philosophy of the trophy - leadership, moral character and courage – and is very deserving of this national honor.”

“The Dick Howser Trophy committee also wishes to thank the NCAA, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, Georgia head coach Wes Johnson, Georgia athletics communications, Charlie’s family, and many others who have helped make this the most prestigious award in college baseball for almost 40 years.”

A Florida native, Dick Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), then head coach of the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a Major League player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, he 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 not only honors a player with some of the best ability nationally, but it also is based upon the tenets of - leadership, moral character and courage. The top draft choices for the upcoming Major League Baseball free agent draft usually are among the Howser Trophy finalists, but this is not a criterion for the eventual winner.

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 NCBWA has been the voting mechanism for the Howser Trophy annually since 1998.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987 shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, OF, Miami (Fla.), 1987; Robin Ventura, 3B, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, 1B-P, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, P, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, P, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, UT-P, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, C, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, 1B, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, P, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, OF, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, 1B, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, UT-P, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, 1B, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickie 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, DH-P, Kentucky, 2014; Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas, 2015; Seth Beer, OF, Clemson, 2016; Brendan McKay, DH-P, Louisville, 2017; Brady Singer, P, Florida, 2018; Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State, 2019; No Award, COVID-19, 2020;  Kevin Kopps, P, Arkansas, 2021; Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas, 2022; and Paul Skenes, P, LSU, 2023.