Utah Baseball Program Receives Significant Gift from Alumnus C.J. Cron
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah baseball program on Wednesday announced a significant philanthropic gift received from Utes alumnus C.J. Cron (2009-11). The generous donation by Cron will play an integral role in enhancing the day-to-day development and overall experience of Utah baseball student-athletes for years to come.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to be able to give back to the University of Utah baseball program," said Cron. "Both the University and baseball program hold a special place in my heart. I would not be the person or ball player I am today without the unwavering support from everyone I crossed paths with at Utah. I will forever be a Ute!"
Utah head coach Gary Henderson added, "Our sincere gratitude goes out to C.J. for his generosity toward our program. We are grateful to call C.J. a member of our Utah baseball family, and appreciate everything he has done over the years to support our team."
Now in his ninth MLB season and second with the Colorado Rockies, Cron became Utah's first-ever first-round draft pick when he was selected 17th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut in 2014 and has gone on to appear in 851 Major League games. Through games of May 3, he is hitting .307 this season with a National League-leading nine home runs and 22 RBI. Cron owns a .263 career batting average with 155 home runs, 487 RBI and 768 hits.
"We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift by C.J., which will make a significant impact for our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. "This really speaks to the high regard that C.J. feels for the University of Utah and our baseball program, and his desire to invest in its future growth."
Playing three seasons at Utah under former longtime skipper Bill Kinneberg, Cron set the Utah career record with a .396 batting average. A two-time first-team All-American (2010, '11) as well as 2009 Freshman All-American, Cron was a 2011 Golden Spikes Award semifinalist and a two-time Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist.
He was a two-time NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year and a two-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, and also earned MWC Freshman of the Year honors in 2009. During the 2009 season, Cron was the only player in the country to get three hits in a game off eventual No. 1 MLB draft pick Stephen Strasburg.
For information on how to support the Utah baseball program, contact Senior Associate AD for Development Manny Hendrix (email@example.com or 801-585-7233) or Director of Major Gifts Gavin Van Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-585-6508).
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Photo courtesy Colorado Rockies