Darren Baker Named Senior CLASS Award All-American
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – California second baseman Darren Baker was named a 2021 Senior CLASS Award® First Team All-American on Friday, June 18. Baker finished as a top-five finalist for the award, which honors senior student-athletes who excel both on and off the field.
Baker – who recently concluded his collegiate playing career and is expected to graduate from Cal later this summer with his undergraduate degree in American Studies – was shortlisted as one of 10 finalists for the award in early May. Kentucky first baseman T.J. Collett was selected as the winner of the Senior CLASS Award.
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. 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: classroom, community, character, and competition. For more information about each of the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Baker rounded out his Cal career with his best individual season as a Golden Bear, posted career-highs in batting average (.327), runs (40), hits (73), stolen bases (28) and walks (28) while starting all 55 games at second base. An elite defensive player, Baker was the only NCAA Division I player with 159-plus defensive assists and a fielding percentage of .988 or better at the conclusion of the 2021 regular season. The Granite Bay, California, product has been named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, ABCA All-West Region Second Team and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team since his senior season ended in late May. Baker was also Cal's male recipient of the Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal, earned by a student-athlete who exhibits the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Baker 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 bulk of the 2020 season was canceled, Baker donated 1,000 meals to Feeding America to help families who struggled financially during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 Senior CLASS Award Baseball First Team All-Americans
Darren Baker, Cal
T.J. Collett, Kentucky – winner
Alex Kachler, North Florida
Evan Russell, Tennessee
Rankin Woley, Auburn
2021 Senior CLASS Award Baseball Second Team All-Americans
Scotty Dubrule, Mississippi State
Brett Harris, Gonzaga
Jake Mulholland, Oregon State
Zach Pettway, UCLA
Andy Thomas, Baylor
For coverage of Cal baseball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBaseball), Instagram (@CalBaseball) and Facebook (/CalBaseball/).