06/24/2005 2:00 p.m. ET
Nebraska's Alex Gordon wins 2005 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award
Kansas City's first round draft selection (#2 overall) becomes first ever Cornhusker to capture amateur baseball's most prestigious honor
DURHAM, N.C. -- As seen today on the 2005 Golden Spikes Award television special on ESPNU, USA Baseball has announced that Alex Gordon, an infielder from the University of Nebraska, topped an incredibly talented field of five finalists to capture the 2005 Golden Spikes Award, amateur baseball's most prestigous honor. The 28th presentation of the award, which is sponsored annually by the Major League Baseball Players Association, will be held at a later date and time to be determined.
Gordon, a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, becomes the first ever winner of the Golden Spikes Award from the University of Nebraska, as he was just the third ever finalist from the school. The USA Baseball Golden Field Award, given to the Athletic Department and Head Coach of the Golden Spikes Award winner, has now gone to 22 different schools.
Gordon, the two-time Big 12 Player of the Year (2004-05) and two-time first-team All-American, was a finalist for all three major College Player-of-the-Year Awards (Golden Spikes, Howser and Wallace) who started all 72 contests for the Huskers, hitting .372 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs. The third baseman was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the No. 2 overall pick, becoming NU's first first-round draft pick since Darin Erstad in 1995. Gordon led his squad to the 2005 College World Series and ranked in the top 10 of the Big 12 in all 12 offensive categories: runs (1st), walks (1st), on-base percentage (.518, 1st), slugging percentage (.715, 1st), doubles (22, 1st), total bases (181, 1st), batting average (2nd), hits (2nd), homers (2nd), RBIs (4th), stolen bases (7th) and triples (8th).
The 2005 Golden Spikes Award winner was announced during the telecast of the 28th Annual Golden Spikes Award show today on ESPNU. The telecast, presented in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association, also highlighted USA Baseball's athlete programs as well as some of the various organizational youth baseball initiatives supported by USA Baseball and the MLBPA. ESPNU will offer fans additional opportunities to see the show with telecasts on June 24 at 8 p.m., June 25 at 12:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and June 28 at 10:45 a.m.
"USA Baseball is extremely proud to honor Alex Gordon of the University of Nebraska with the 2005 Golden Spikes Award," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "Alex's tremendous collegiate career in which he dominated the Big 12 Conference certainly proves he was worthy of this award. We're also excited that Alex played such an instrumental role in helping Team USA capture the gold medal at the 2004 FISU World University Championship last summer, and we're very happy for the Cornhusker baseball program and their head coach, Mike Anderson."
For the past 27 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 2004 Golden Spikes Award winner was Jered Weaver of Long Beach State University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars such as Rickie Weeks ('03), Khalil Greene ('02), Mark Prior ('01), Jason Jennings ('00), Pat Burrell ('98), J.D. Drew ('97), Travis Lee ('96), Mark Kotsay ('95), Jason Varitek ('94), Darren Dreifort ('93), and Phil Nevin ('92). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Alex Fernandez ('90), Ben McDonald ('89), Robin Ventura ('88), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79), and Bob Horner ('78).
The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams 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, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, 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 (Collegiate), the USA Baseball Junior National team (18-under), the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16-under), and the USA Baseball Womens National Team which participate in various international competitions. The USA Baseball headquarters are based in Durham, North Carolina with future training facilities in Cary, North Carolina.