Dec. 5, 2008
Lubbock, Texas - Eight WCC players headline the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
San Diego led the way with junior All-American closer AJ Griffin along with sophomore right-hander Kyle Blair and sophomore lefty Sammy Solis. Also on the list from the WCC were senior Ryan Wheeler of Loyola Marymount, sophomore Riley Henricks of Portland, sophomore Thain Simon of Santa Clara, junior Kyle Jensen of Saint Mary's, and sophomore Matt Lujan of San Francisco.
There are a dozen players returning to the "Wallace Watch List" who were a part of the 2008 Brooks Wallace Watch List of 64. The list includes Josh Phegley (Indiana), Chris Dominguez (Louisville) and Stephen Strasburg (San Diego). The University of North Carolina has returners: Alex White, Kyle Seager and 2008 Brooks Wallace Award semi-finalist Dustin Ackley.
"We look forward to another great year of college baseball. The College Baseball Foundation continues to expand in many areas and we are excited to acknowledge and award achievements and outstanding character on and off the diamond," said Raymond Richardson, chairman of Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award.
The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District 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.
Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award - Past Winners2008 Buster Posey Catcher Florida State2007 David Price Pitcher Vanderbilt2006 Brad Lincoln Pitcher/DH Houston2005 Alex Gordon 3B Nebraska2004 Kurt Suzuki Catcher Cal State Fullerton
WCC Players on 2009 Brooks Wallace Preseason Watch List:
Kyle Blair, USD
AJ Griffin, USD
Riley Henricks, POR
Kyle Jensen, SMC
Matt Lujan, USF
Thain Simon, SCU
Sammy Solis, USD
Ryan Wheeler, LMU