Darren Baker Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – California second baseman Darren Baker was selected Thursday as one of 30 candidates for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award. The award honors senior student-athletes who excel both on and off the field.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Baker is one of four candidates from the Pac-12, joining UCLA's Zach Pettway and Kyle Mora and Oregon State's Jake Mulholland.
Baker, a four-year starter for the Golden Bears, has done a bit of everything on the field for Cal during the first half of the 2021 season. The preseason All-American is slashing .318/.336/.406 in the leadoff spot and owns a 32-game reached-base streak that dates back to the 2020 season. In addition to ranking 10th nationally in stolen bases (14), Baker is one of the nation's elite defensive second basemen; his 93 assists rank second among major-conference players behind only Texas' Trey Faltine (101).
Baker is a .295 career hitter with 163 hits, 55 RBI, 101 runs scored and 44 stolen bases in 140 games (138 starts).
The Granite Bay, California, native impacted his community in a big way throughout 2020, raising over $11,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to help rebuild small businesses that were victims of looting in the Sacramento area. Shortly after the 2020 college baseball season was canceled, Baker donated 1,000 meals to Feeding America to help families who were struggling financially during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baker is expected to graduate from Cal this spring with his degree in American Studies.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in May, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches, and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four C's of community, classroom, character, and competition.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2021 College World Series in June.
Visit seniorCLASSaward.com for more information on all 30 candidates.
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