Cal Catcher Chris Grossman Named Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist
May 20, 2003
WICHITA, KS - California junior catcher Chris Grossman has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, it was announced today by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. It is the second year in-a-row a Cal player has been selected as one of the nation's top catchers, as Grossman follows John Baker, who was a 2002 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist and is now in the Oakland A's organization.
Grossman joins senior Ryan Garko from Stanford as the only candidates for the Johnny Bench Award from the West Coast. The other eight finalists include senior Brady Burrill from Michigan State, sophomore Josh Ford from Baylor, sophomore Devin Ivany from South Florida, sophomore Jason Jaramillo from Oklahoma State, junior Colt Morton from North Carolina State, junior Landon Powell from South Carolina, junior Tony Richie from Florida State and senior Brian Rose from Florida.Thirty six players were originally nominated for the award.
Three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award will be announced June 3. All three finalists will be brought to Wichita, Kan., with the winner being announced at the sixth annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 24.
Grossman finished the 2003 season batting .341 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 45 RBI, leading the Bears in hits (72), doubles (16) and total bases (112). During the year, he had two game-tying home runs, a game-winning home run Feb. 7 versus Loyola Marymount and a game-winning RBI single in the 12th inning Mar. 14 versus UC Irvine. Grossman's Mar. 14 game against UC Irvine was especially impressive, going 4-for-6 with four RBI, including a solo home run in the seventh inning, a game-tying two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and then the game-winning RBI single in the 12th inning.