Stanford Baseball Alumni Honored at Santa Clara County Hot Stove Banquet

Jan. 28, 2009

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SAN JOSE, Calif. - Five former Stanford Baseball players were honored at the 25th annual Santa Clara County Hot Stove Banquet on Tuesday night, while San Jose Giants executive Linda Pereira was honored with the inaugural Kathy Wolff Women in Baseball Award and former coach and longtime friend of the program Bill Alhouse was given the Special Service Award.

Among the players, Mike Mussina was named Major League Pitcher of the Year; John Gall was given a Special Recognition Award; Jason Castro was tabbed College Player of the Year; Erik Davis was selected as the Co-College Pitcher of the Year and Cord Phelps was one of three recipients of the Loyd Christopher Award.

In a testament to just how many people the late Kathy Wolff reached with her kindness and wonderful nature, the Banquet will now feature a Women in Baseball Award given annually in her honor. The first recipient of the honor is Pereira, who has spent the last 41 seasons with the San Jose Giants. The club's Director of Player Relations, Pereira has been involved with all aspects of the organization. She is essential to the in-season lives of the single-A players, coordinating travel and accommodations for the team and San Francisco/San Jose Giants Booster Club. A native of San Jose who was raised coming to games at Municipal Stadium, Pereira has been a huge reason for the success of a franchise that boasts nine California League titles.

Alhouse's association with Stanford Baseball extends back to 1952, his first year as an assistant coach. He was on the Stanford staff for 16 seasons, before departing after the 1967 campaign to help the Netherlands develop its baseball program. During this time on The Farm, Stanford went 375-217-8 (.632), captured three conference titles (1953, 1966 and 1967) and made its first appearance in the College World Series (1953). Alhouse went on to enjoy a successful career in real estate and has long been a huge supporter of the Stanford Baseball program, presenting the annual Come Through Award at the team banquet.

Mussina, who helped pitch Stanford to the 1988 College World Series, retired in November following an 18-year Major League Baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles (1991-2000) and the New York Yankees (2001-08). A five-time All-Star and seven-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, he compiled a career record of 270-153 with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts in 537 appearances (536 starts). One of only five ML pitchers ever to record 17 consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins, Mussina went 20-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 34 starts for New York in 2008. At age 39, he became the oldest pitcher in ML history to record 20 wins in a season for the first time. Mussina finishes his career tied for 32nd on MLB's all-time wins list and 19th for strikeouts.

Gall was recognized after helping lead Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The former Cardinal slugger started eight of the nine games in Beijing, batting .242 (8-for-33) while hammering one of Team USA's 10 home runs, tying for second on the club with four doubles and tying for third with five RBI. Gall enjoyed a prolific four-year career at Stanford from 1997-2000, and he is still the program's all-time career leader in hits (356), doubles (80) and RBI (263). The three-time first-team All-Pac-10 performer also ranks among Stanford's all-time leaders in batting average (3rd - .358), games (3rd - 251), at-bats (2nd - 1,027), runs (7th - 214) and home runs (T3rd - 46).

Castro emerged as one of the nation's top players during his junior campaign, earning 2008 second-team All-America honors by and third-team accolades from ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America and Ping!Baseball after batting .367 (105-for-279) with 68 runs, 18 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 73 RBI, a .429 on-base percentage and a .613 slugging mark. An excellent defensive catcher, he logged a .996 fielding percentage (two errors in 496 total chances) and threw out a stellar 38.3% of would-be base-stealers (30-of-81). The first-team All-Pac-10 selection was also a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the country's top catcher, and he was selected by the Houston Astros in the first round (10th pick overall) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Davis enjoyed a stellar senior season that also netted him 2008 first-team All-Pac-10 accolades. The right-hander went 8-3 with a 4.70 ERA (54er, 103.1ip) in 18 games (16 starts) overall, but really made his mark in conference action. Davis tossed four consecutive complete games over his first four Pac-10 starts, helping Stanford win conference series vs. Washington State, Arizona State, at Oregon State and at UCLA. He went 5-1 with a 3.90 ERA (26er, 60.0ip) in eight Pac-10 starts overall, tying for the conference lead in wins and ranking first in innings pitched. A 13th round draft choice of the San Diego Padres, he earned a victory over Miami to keep the Cardinal alive in the College World Series.

Phelps was a first-team All-Pac-10 performer as a junior in 2008, batting .351 (91-for-259) with a club-high 76 runs, 16 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 58 in 63 games. The switch-hitter batted .352 (31-for-88) off left-handers, .351 (60-for-171) off right-handers and .386 (27-for-70) with runners in scoring position. During the same month in which he was a third-round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians, he drove in five College World Series runs and batted .386 (17-for-44) in 10 playoff games overall.

The Santa Clara County Hot Stove Corp. Committee's commitment to the community of people of Santa Clara County is to provide the opportunity for baseball coaches and players to participate at the highest level and ensure recognition for their efforts. The annual banquet is one way the committee honors the accomplishments of deserving participants within the community. Funds provided from the banquet go directly to youth, high school and collegiate baseball programs.

Stanford opens its 2009 season with four home games at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond the weekend of February 20-22. The Cardinal will host Southeastern Conference power Vanderbilt (Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21), along with UC Riverside (Sunday, Feb. 22 doubleheader).

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