May 25, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia has been named one of five finalists for the prestigious 2004 Golden Spikes Award. Pedroia is ASU's seventh all-time finalist and will look to become the fourth Sun Devil to win the Golden Spikes Award.
Pedroia joins Mississippi sophomore Stephen Head, Texas junior Huston Street, Rice junior Wade Townsend and Long Beach State junior Jered Weaver as the five finalists for the 2004 Golden Spikes Award:
Dustin Pedroia - Arizona State - SS - Jr.
Sun Devils shortstop was the 2003 Co-Pac 10 Player of the Year and the National Defensive Player of the Year. Currently batting .409 with a Pac-10 leading 23 doubles, 90 hits and 74 runs scored. Has recorded 27 multi-hit games and has hit safely in 45 of ASU's 53 games. A .388 career hitter and needs eight hits to become only the fourth player and first three-year player to reach the 300-hit milestone. Has started all 179 games of his ASU career and has a .975 career fielding percentage. He is the 7th all-time finalist from Arizona State.
Stephen Head - Mississippi - LHP/1B - So.
The 2003 SEC Freshman of the Year and two-way star is currently leading the Rebels in batting average (.357), and RBI (49) while also posting a team-best 2.43 ERA and five saves. First ever finalist from Ole Miss.
Huston Street - Texas - RHP - Jr.
Longhorns' closer is the Big 12 & Team USA career saves leader and was the '02 NCAA College World Series Most Outstanding Player. 6th all-time finalist from Texas.
Wade Townsend - Rice - RHP - Jr.
The Owls' ace helped lead Rice to their first NCAA CWS title in '03, and has posted a 10-0 record with 130 strikeouts this season. 4th all-time finalist from Rice.
Jered Weaver - Long Beach State - RHP - Jr.
Leads the nation with a 14-0 record and 182 strikeouts, with only 14 walks allowed in 122.0 innings pitched. Broke the Team USA record last summer by tossing 45.2 consecutive scoreless innings. 1st ever finalist from Long Beach State.
Pedroia is the seventh all-time finalist from ASU, as he tries to become the fourth winner of the award. Mike Kelly (1991), Oddibe McDowell (1984) and Bob Horner (1978) have helped ASU to a record-tying three Golden Spikes Awards. Jacob Cruz (1994), Paul Lo Duca (1993) and Kelly 1990) were also finalists for the Golden Spikes.
Four of the five players are junior classmen (Head is the only sophomore), making them eligible for the upcoming Major League Baseball player entry draft in June. The USA Baseball Golden Field Award - given to the Athletic Department and Head Coach of the Golden Spikes Award winner - has gone to 20 different schools.
The 2004 Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 13, during the broadcast of the 27th Annual Golden Spikes Award show. The broadcast, presented in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will also highlight USA Baseball's athlete programs as well as some of the various organizational youth baseball initiatives supported by USA Baseball and the MLBPA.
The broadcast will be seen on various regional cable sports networks, each covering a region of the country from which the five Golden Spikes Award finalists are from (Fox Sports Arizona, South, Southwest, and West). The television show will be aired just a few hours prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on FOX, and it will be hosted by George Grande - longtime TV play-by-play voice of the Cincinnati Reds.
For the past 26 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 2003 Golden Spikes Award winner was Rickie Weeks of Southern University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars such as 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), 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).