May 19, 2007
Dallas, Texas – On Thursday, May 17, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, released the list of 16 semifinalists for the 2007 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball. Florida State joined two other schools, Vanderbilt and Virginia, with multiple semifinalists as Bryan Henry and Tony Thomas, Jr. were honored on this year’s list.
Henry leads the nation in wins as he has gone 14-0 in 16 starts for the Seminoles this season. He also sits first in the ACC in innings pitched (104.1) and total strikeouts (107), third in ERA at 2.50, fourth in strikeouts per nine innings and fifth in opponents batting average. The Tallahassee, Fla. native has won nine straight ACC decisions and became just the third pitcher since 1992 and eighth pitcher all-time at Florida State to post 14 or more wins in a season. Henry, a senior right hander, has given up a run or less in nine of his 16 starts and has posted seven or more strikeouts in 10 of 16 starts.
Thomas has been the offensive leader for Florida State in 2007 as the junior second baseman leads the ACC in batting average at .446 while leading the conference in seven other offensive categories and ranking in the top 10 in two others. Thomas has reached base safely in 52 of 53 games this season and has been Florida State’s starting second baseman in every game this season. He leads the team in home runs (10), triples (6), doubles (30) and stolen bases (27) and has 33 multi-hit games including four four-hit performances to pace the Seminoles. Thomas, a native of Valrico, Fla., has hit seven of his 10 home runs on the road this season.
The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2007 winner will be announced just prior to the first game of the College World Series, with a press conference slated for Friday, June 15 at 10:00 am at the Omaha Press Club.
The Howser Trophy, regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award, was created in memory of the former Florida State All-America shortstop, major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987. The 16 semifinalists will be narrowed down to a list of finalist which will be announced on June 7. J.D. Drew is the lone Florida State recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy winning the award in 1997.
Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.