May 17, 2013
Boone, N.C. -
Western Carolina junior shortstop Aaron Attaway was among 40 of the nation's elite collegiate baseball players listed as a national semifinalists for the 2013 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, and released today by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting.
Attaway was one of two players from the Southern Conference listed on the semifinalist list. He was joined by Samford utility player and pitcher, C.K. Irby. All told, the candidates hail from 17 different conferences and 31 different schools. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with 10 semifinalists, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with six, Pac-12 five and the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Colonial Athletic Association, Southern with two.
Every position on the diamond is represented, including seven starting pitchers, five first basemen, five shortstops, four catchers, four third basemen, four outfielders, four relief pitchers, three second basemen, two designated hitters and two utility players, among this diversified group.
Attaway, who is currently amidst a career-long 15-game hitting streak, leads the SoCon in both base hits with 87 and runs scored with 64. He ranks third on the team with 15 doubles and is second with 11 home runs and 49 RBI. A Morganton, N.C., product, Attaway is hitting .358 after Thursday night's win to rank seventh in the SoCon.
Earlier this season, Attaway was named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list for an award that goes to the nation's top collegiate shortstop.
It is the 27th year of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 6. The 2013 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the third year. The winner will be unveiled on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2013 CWS.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979, after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.
"The Dick Howser Trophy was founded shortly after his death by a few friends of Dick's in the St. Petersburg Area who played, coached and worked with him," said David Feaster of the Howser Trophy Committee. "All knew him personally and were aware of him as a tremendous player, coach and friend. The award was initially awarded at the Governors Baseball Dinner held each spring in St. Petersburg to welcome Spring Training to Fla. and as time progressed, we moved the presentation to Omaha, the center of college baseball, during the World Series. I have been involved with the award for over 20 years and have loved every minute of my involvement. I have had the opportunity to meet some great college players as well as some great young men. I am so proud of the Character quality we have in our award, which makes it unique. I am also proud of our selection process by the NCBWA which is the most democratic of any award and provides a true national scope.
"The Dick Howser trophy is now 27 years old and growing stronger," added Feaster. "It is a true testimony to Dick Howser's ability as a player, coach and gentlemen. I am proud to be associated with it."
The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg - home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011 and Mike Zunino, C, Florida in 2012.
2013 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
Pos. Name, School
Mark Appel, SP, Stanford
Aaron Attaway, SS, Western Carolina
Nick Backlund, DH, Mercer
Michael Bass, 2B, UNC Wilmington
Tyler Beede, SP, Vanderbilt
Aaron Berg, RP, UCLA
Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
Danny Collins, OF, Troy
L.B. Dantzler, 1B, South Carolina
Brandon Dixon, 3B, Arizona
Hunter Dozier, SS, Stephen F. Austin
Kent Emmanuel, SP, North Carolina
Zane Evans, C, Georgia Tech
Brent Graham, SS, Campbell
Jonathan Gray, SP, Oklahoma
C.K. Irby, Utility, Samford
Mason Katz, 1B, LSU
Ryan Kellogg, SP, Arizona State
Tony Kemp, 2B, Vanderbilt
Michael Lorenzen, Utility, Cal State Fullerton
L.J. Mazzilli, 2B, Connecticut
Kyle McGowin, SP, Savannah State
Brian Miller, RP, Vanderbilt
Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Aaron Nola, SP, LSU
Matt Oberste, DH, Oklahoma
Daniel Palka, OF, Georgia Tech
Justin Parr, OF, Illinois
D.J. Peterson, 1B, New Mexico
Hunter Renfro, OF, Mississippi State
Tanner Rust, C, New Mexico State
Jimmie Scherfy, RP, Oregon
Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana
Cody Stubbs, 1B, North Carolina
Stewart Turner, C, Ole Miss
Trea Turner, SS, NC State
Tyler Webb, RP, South Carolina
Jimmy Yezzo, 1B, Delaware
Ty Young, 3B, Louisville