By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Two of the most consistent players the entire season for the Tennessee Tech baseball team, infielders Dylan Bosheers and Daniel Miles were both honored as 2014 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists Thursday afternoon.
Bosheers and Miles were among 35 Division I players named semifinalists for the award sponsored by Easton Foundations, which is given annually to the top player in collegiate baseball by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
This is the 28th year of the Dick Howser Trophy presented by Easton Foundations. The finalists will be announced on Thursday, June 5. The 2014 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the fourth year. The winner will be unveiled on Saturday, June 14 at 10 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2014 CWS.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979, after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.
"The Dick Howser Trophy was founded shortly after his death by a few friends of Dick's in the St. Petersburg Area who played, coached and worked with him," said David Feaster of the Howser Trophy Committee. "All knew him personally and were aware of him as a tremendous player, coach and friend. The award was initially awarded at the Governors Baseball Dinner held each spring in St. Petersburg to welcome Spring Training to Fla. and as time progressed, we moved the presentation to Omaha, the center of college baseball, during the World Series. I have been involved with the award for over 20 years and have loved every minute of my involvement. I have had the opportunity to meet some great college players as well as some great young men. I am so proud of the Character quality we have in our award, which makes it unique. I am also proud of our selection process by the NCBWA which is the most democratic of any award and provides a true national scope.
"The Dick Howser trophy is now 28 years old and growing stronger," added Feaster. "It is a true testimony to Dick Howser's ability as a player, coach and gentlemen. I am proud to be associated with it."
The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg - home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
A native of Pascagoula, Miss., Miles ranks among the Ohio Valley Conference and national with a .396 average (fourth OVC, 11th NCAA), a .633 slugging percentage (third, 15th), a .496 on base percentage (first, 12th), 63 runs scored (first, second), 82 hits (fourth, ninth), 10 home runs (tied for fifth, tied for 28th), and 131 total bases (fourth, 11th). The third baseman was also named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List.
As for Bosheers, the junior shortstop ranks sixth in the OVC and 31st in the NCAA in batting average (.380), seventh in the OVC and 29th in the NCAA in slugging (.600), fourth in the OVC in on base percentage (.457), second in the OVC and fifth in the NCAA in runs (60), sixth in the OVC and 16th in the NCAA in hits (78), sixth in the OVC in RBI (49), tied for fifth in the OVC and tied for 28th in the NCAA in home runs (10), and fifth in the OVC and 19th in the NCAA in total bases (123).
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011; Mike Zunino, C, Florida, 2012 and Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego, 2013.