A Red Raider Finally Wins the Brooks Wallace Award
The inaugural Brooks Wallace award was given to Catcher Kurt Suzuki from Cal State Fullerton in 2004. Since then the award named after former Red Raider has honed its criteria to the best shortstop in the country along with dedication, leadership, and performance.
The best shortstop in college baseball this season was none other than Texas Tech's Cal Conley. The redshirt freshman was great on both sides of the ball this season, hitting .329 with 15 home runs and 55 RBs and fielding at a .960 clip with plenty of Jeter-Esque throws across the diamond.
“The nominating committee had such a phenomenal group of young men as finalists to choose from, and I feel like we made a great choice in Cal,” said Larry Wallace, co-chair of the Brooks Wallace Award selection committee on MLB.com. “The combination of leadership, hard work and perseverance that Cal exhibits are all qualities we look for in representing the award. Along with his defensive skills, hitting for average and the bonus of hitting with power made him a great choice.”
The award will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation during the virtual Night of Champions on June 26th.
The Awards history is obviously intertwined with Texas Tech being named after shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980 then coached on the Red Raiders' staff before he died of leukemia in 1985 at the age of 27.
Conley becomes the first Red Raider to win the award since it was established in 2004.
He joins a list of major stars who won the award while playing college baseball including Alex Bregman, Alex Gordon, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, Buster Posey and David Price. The award didn't shift to honoring the best SS until 2009.
Conley was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team, CBN's Freshman All-American 2nd Team All-American, NCBWA's Freshman All-American and won numerous weekly awards throughout the season. He's also thought to be one of Texas Tech's highest-rated MLB draft prospects. If the past winners of the Brooks Wallace Award have any merit, he definitely has the pedigree.
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