Pac-10 Players Still in the Running for National Awards

May 15, 2008

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, has released the list of 16 semifinalists for the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball. The 2008 winner will be announced just prior to the first game of the College World Series, with a press conference slated for Saturday, June 14, at 10 a.m. (CDT) at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

The 16 candidates hail from nine different conferences, with the Pac-10 listing three. Arizona State is one of two schools with multiple semifinalists. Eight different positions are represented on the list, including five pitchers, three outfielders and two first 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 for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.

2008 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists (Pac-10 Players Only):
Ike Davis, UT, Arizona State
Brett Wallace, 3B, Arizona State
David Cooper, 1B, California

In addition to the Dick Howser award, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced today the list of twelve semifinalists for the 2008 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T and Papa John's Pizza. This award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher, as voted on by the national voting committee which is comprised of sportswriters, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts.

The Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award semifinalists (Pac-10 Players Only):
Jason Castro, Stanford
Petey Paramore, Arizona State

Also, ten of the best college pitchers in America have been named as semifinalists for the fifth Roger Clemens Award. The list was announced on Thursday in Houston after the conclusion of the first round of voting by the nation's Division 1 head baseball coaches and selected national media.

Mike Leake of Arizona State is the lone Pac-10 pitcher still up for the award. Leake, a sophomore from Fallbrook, Calif., is 8-1 with a 3.42 ERA for the fourth-ranked Sun Devils. He's struck out 86 in 92 innings.

Voters for The Roger Clemens Award are broken down into three groups. All Division 1 head baseball coaches are issued ballots, as are a selected group of writers and broadcasters who cover the college game. In addition the 16 winners of the R.E. Bob Smith Award, which was presented in Houston in 1988-2003, are asked to vote, along with the 13 finalists from the first four years of the Clemens Award.

The Roger Clemens Award was named after pitching legend Roger Clemens, who began his march to stardom while leading the University of Texas to the College World Series title in 1983. As a major-leaguer, Clemens won 354 games (eighth best in history), fanned 4,672 hitters and won seven Cy Young Awards, emblematic as the top pitcher in his league. The Roger Clemens Award is the only award of its kind, honoring the finest pitchers in college baseball. Voting to determine the three finalists for the 2008 award will begin on May 26.

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