June 26, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – In a feat rarely seen in baseball at any level, fans in Tallahassee and nationally were treated to a little piece of history in 2008. Adding to an already impressive resume, Buster Posey became just the fourth student-athlete in Atlantic Coast Conference history to capture baseball’s version of the triple crown as he finished the season leading the league in batting average (.463), home runs (26) and RBI (93).
The last player to win the league’s triple crown was FSU’s Marshall McDougall who hit. .419 with 28 home runs and 106 RBI in 1999. Maryland’s Derek Hacopian (1992 – .421 average, 23 home runs and 84 RBI) and Clemson’s Denny Walling (1975 – .421 average, 13 home runs and 60 RBI) complete the short list of triple crown winners in ACC laurels.
Posey set the Florida State single-season record for batting average hitting .463 (119 hits in 257 at-bats) in 2008. The average eclipsed the previous school record of .455 set by J.D. Drew in 1997. He ended the year with a career-high 20-game hit streak. It was the fourth time this season that Posey put together a string of double-digit hit streaks. The Leesburg, Ga., native registered hit streaks of 13 games, 12 games and 11 games this year.
Thanks to a five home run outburst in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, Posey became the first Seminole to reach the 20 home run plateau since McDougall and Matt Diaz hit 28 and 21, respectively in 1999. Posey added two more blasts in the Tallahassee Super Regional bringing his season total to 26 home runs, the most in a single-season since Eddy Martinez-Esteve clubbed 19 in 2004. Posey’s 26 dingers tied him with Chris Cawthon for seventh place in a single year among Seminole players.
Posey’s 93 RBI were the most since 2002 when Ryan Barthelemy drove in 94 runs. Overall, the junior catcher guided the Seminoles to its best hitting season in school and ACC history as Florida State ended the year with a team batting average of .355. The mark surpassed the previous record of .350 set a season ago.
Nationally, Posey fell just short of completing the triple crown sweep. He finished the year ranked first in average and RBI and tied for third in home runs falling two behind LSU’s Matt Clark and Georgia’s Gordon Beckham.
Dating back to 1968, there has been only one student-athlete to win the NCAA triple crown as Indiana’s Mike Smith led the nation in average (.490), home runs (27) and RBI (95) in 1992.