Buster Posey claims 2008 Brooks Wallace Award
Lubbock, Texas -- The Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award Selection Committee has named Florida State All-American catcher Buster Posey of Leesburg, Ga., as the fifth recipient of the award, which was presented in a national telecast (FCS) on Wednesday evening at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
Posey conquered an elite field of 15 other semi-finalists and finalists including consensus All-American shortstop Gordon Beckham of Georgia and pitcher Brian Matusz of San Diego. He will be honored Thursday afternoon in the Fourth on Broadway parade festivities along with the College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2008.
The FSU standout was also named ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic Baseball Player of the Year for his classroom talents which follows many of the life tenets of the late Brooks Wallace.
The Wallace Award is a dedication to the memory of the former Texas Tech player and assistant coach. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Tech from 1977-80. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District VII his senior year. He led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach.
In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, Texas, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.
Posey, the recipient of Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and Rivals.com Player of the Year honors and the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy, is also a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award which will be announced on July 16. He also won the 2008 Johnny Bench Award presented to the nation’s top collegiate catcher as well as Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. The junior standout and Academic All-American selection from Leesburg, Ga., was the fifth player selected overall in the ’08 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
He was among the top 10 in seven NCAA individual statistical categories in ’08 with a .463 batting average, 89 runs, and 93 RBI. Posey collected 119 hits in 257 official trips to the plate, a .879 slugging percentage, .566 on-base percentage, and just eight errors in 68 games and 483 chances for a .983 fielding percentage.
He smashed five hits in two games at the College World Series and helped coach Mike Martin’s Seminoles roll up a 54-14 record and the school’s 19th trip to the CWS. FSU also played in the NCAA tournament for a school-record 31st consecutive campaign.
Posey batted an ACC-leading .479 in 30 ACC games and was the fourth ACC standout to win the conference’s hallowed triple crown – leading the league in average, homer runs and RBI.
Posey played all nine positions against Savannah State on May 12 and scored runs in 55 of FSU’s 68 games. He also had at least one RBI in 50 of the Seminoles’ 68 contests.
Past winners included Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton (2004), Alex Gordon of Nebraska (2005), and Brad Lincoln of Houston (2006). Last year’s winner David Price of Vanderbilt was the number one choice in the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.