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Baker, Greene Named Finalists for Golden Spikes Award

Baker, Greene Named Finalists for Golden Spikes Award

May 20, 2002

Tucson, AZ – USA Baseball – in coordination with the Major League Baseball Players Association – announced today the five finalists for the 2002 Golden Spikes Award, amateur baseball’s most prestigious honor. Underscoring their shared interest and commitment to support the development of baseball from the grassroots level, the Major League Baseball Players Association is the title sponsor of USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award and provides support for USA Baseball’s youth baseball programs.

The five finalists for the 2002 Golden Spikes Award are listed alphabetically as follows:

Russ Adams North Carolina IF Jr. Leadoff man is leading the 13th ranked Tar Heels (39-17) by batting .373 with 51 RBI & 44 stolen bases. 3rd ever finalist from North Carolina (B.J. Surhoff ’85, Scott Bankhead ’84)

Jeff Baker Clemson IF Jr. 4-time member of a USA Baseball Team (’97, ’99, ’00, ’01), and all-time Clemson HR record-holder. First pair of teammates (w/Greene) to be finalists in same year since 1997 (Lance Berkman & Matt Anderson – Rice). 3rd/4th ever finalists from Clemson (Kris Benson ’96, Shane Monahan ’95).

Bobby Brownlie Rutgers RHP Jr. Led Team USA last summer with a 7-0 record, 0.84 ERA & has posted five complete games this year for the Scarlet Knights (32-20). First ever finalist from Rutgers.

Khalil Greene Clemson IF Sr. All-time career ACC leader in hits and doubles for the #1 ranked Tigers. First pair of teammates (w/Baker) to be finalists in same year since 1997 (Lance Berkman & Matt Anderson – Rice). 3rd/4th ever finalist from Clemson (Kris Benson ’96, Shane Monahan ’95).

Jeremy Guthrie Stanford RHP Jr. Ace of the Cardinal staff has gone 9-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts. 9th ever finalist from Stanford (Justin Wayne ’00, Jeff Austin ’98, A.J. Hinch ’96, Jeffrey Hammonds ’92, David McCarty ’91, Ed Sprague ’88, Jack McDowell ’87, Tom Verducci ’84). Stanford has the most previous finalists (8), of any school that has never won the Award.

The 2002 Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 9, during the premier broadcast of the 25th Anniversary Golden Spikes Award show. The broadcast, produced in coordination with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will also announce the 11 former Golden Spikes winners named to the 25th Anniversary Golden Spikes Award Team, and will also highlight some of the various youth baseball programs presented by USA Baseball and the MLBPA.

Three cable regional sports networks will be airing the show – FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Bay Area, and the Madison Square Garden Network – each covering a region of the country from which the five Golden Spikes Award finalists are from. The television show will be aired on July 9, (3:30 PM EST – FOX Sports South, 3:30 PM EST – Madison Square Garden Network, 3:00 PM PST – FOX Sports Bay Area) just a few hours prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on FOX. The TV special will be produced by TeamWorks Media, a Chicago-based multimedia production company specializing in original television programming, video production, web design, and CD-ROM development. The show will be hosted by George Grande – longtime TV play-by-play voice of the Cincinnati Reds.

“USA Baseball is thankful to be working with the Major League Baseball Players Association on the 25th Anniversary of the Golden Spikes Award, and we are extremely pleased to be able to bring the announcement of this year’s winner to a television audience,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director / CEO.

For the past 24 years, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2001 Golden Spikes Award winner was Mark Prior of the University of Southern California. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars such as Pat Burrell (’98), J.D. Drew (’97), Travis Lee (’96), Mark Kotsay (’95), Jason Varitek (’94), Darren Dreifort (’93), Phil Nevin (’92) and Robin Ventura (’88). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Alex Fernandez (’90), Ben McDonald (’89), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78).

18 different schools have captured the Golden Field Award – given to the Athletic Department and Head Coach of the Golden Spikes Award winner – including three colleges that have won the Award a record three times (Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Florida State). The University of Miami-FL, has had ten players named finalists – the most of any school in America – with one winner (Burrell ’98).

The MLBPA is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the National League and the American League and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League Baseball Players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards events, which benefit children through the Major League Baseball Players Trust for Children, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League Baseball Players.

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball Olympic Team, the USA Baseball National Team, the USA Baseball Junior National team (18-under), and the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16-under) which participate in various international competitions each year.