ANAHEIM, CA. – USA Baseball announced Tuesday the selection of Southern Nevada’s Bryce Harper as the recipient of the 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This year marks the 33rd consecutive year that the Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player.
In partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of MLB, the award was presented at MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim. In conjunction with the presentation, an award show highlighting the five finalists for the GSA was aired www.MLB.com.
Chris Duffy (Central Florida), Yasmani Grandal (Miami [Fla.]), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast) were the other finalists for the award.
“This year’s five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award presented our voting committee with another difficult challenge,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO.
“Each player authored an incredible season in 2010, and they are all deserving of the award. In the end, however, the committee determined that Bryce Harper’s incredible season with Southern Nevada stood above the rest. We at USA Baseball are honored to recognize Bryce’s achievements with the award for the top amateur baseball player in the country.”
The No. 1 overall selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Harper exceeded all expectations during his freshman season at Southern Nevada (CSN), belting 31 home runs (CSN single-season record), with 98 RBIs and a .443 average. The Las Vegas native was named 2010 Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Year and First Team SWAC All-Conference.
The Coyotes backstop also received several accolades from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) including ABCA Division I Baseball Player of the Year, Division I Baseball First-Team All-American and Division I Rawlings Big Stick Award Winner.
The selection of Harper marks the second time in the history of the GSA that a junior college player won the award. Alex Fernandez (Miami Dade CC) took home the trophy in 1990. Harper and Fernandez are also the only two non-NCAA Division I players to ever win the award as well.
Harper becomes the second catcher in three years to win the GSA, joining 2008′s recipient, Buster Posey (Florida State). Jason Varitek (Georgia Tech, 1994) is the only other backstop to have won the GSA.
For the third year in a row, fans were able to stay up to date on the award by visiting www.GoldenSpikesAward.com. The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2010 finalists.
Since 1978 USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first ever presentation of the trophy to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
The 2009 GSA winner was Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State. Past winners of the prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Posey (’08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03), Khalil Greene (’02), Jason Jennings (’00), Pat Burrell (’98), J.D. Drew (’97), Mark Kotsay (’95), and Jason Varitek (’94). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79) and Bob Horner (’78).