May 31, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced Tuesday the names of the semifinalists for the 2011 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA), and Tech junior pitcher Mark Pope is among 30 players from around the nation to make the list. This marks the 34th consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
GoldenSpikesAward.com — powered by MLB.com — will once again be the online home for the award. The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for the 2011 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 30 players is narrowed to three finalists on Monday, June 6.
For the first time ever, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network. The presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET on MLB Tonight, Friday, July 15. The three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network’s studios for the presentation, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. Online footage of the event also will be available via GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.
Joining Pope on this year’s list of semifinalists are fellow ACC standouts Danny Hultzen (Virginia), Sean Gilmartin (Florida State) and Brad Miller (Clemson). Pope, Hultzen and Gilmartin are also on the watch list for the College Baseball Hall of Fame 2011 Pitcher of the Year Award.
Connecticut and Vanderbilt top all schools with two semifinalists each, and in total 28 college and universities are represented on the list. Among conferences, the SEC leads with five players, while the ACC has four and the Pac-10 and Big East each have three. Juniors are tops with 22 semifinalists and they are joined by four sophomores and three seniors. Daniel Alrdich is the only freshman (RS) on the list.
In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2011. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists. A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of nearly 200 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Beginning today fans will also be able to vote on the 2011 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.
“USA Baseball congratulates each of the 30 student-athletes and their respective baseball programs,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “With the increased exposure we are bringing to the Golden Spikes Award through the MLB Network this year, there is added excitement surrounding the voting process and live presentation. We wish all of the semifinalists the best of luck.”