Khalil Greene Wins 2002 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award
Greene became just the second NCAA player to collect 400 hits, as he finished with 403..
Tucson, Arizona - As seen earlier today on the 2002 Golden Spikes Award television special, USA Baseball has announced that Khalil Greene - an infielder from Clemson University - topped an incredibly talented field of five finalists to capture the 2002 Golden Spikes Award. The 25th presentation of the award, which is sponsored annually by the Major League Baseball Players Association, will be held at a later date and time to be determined, on the campus of Clemson University. Greene became the unanimous National Player-of-the-Year, as he won the last of every national award given in 2002.
Greene - a native of Key West, Florida - set numerous Tiger and ACC records in his senior season at Clemson. He lead the Tigers to a third-place finish in the College World Series by hitting .470 with a school-record 27 homers and 91 RBIs. The Tigers' everyday shortstop became just the second NCAA player to collect 400 hits, as he finished with 403, and broke the NCAA career doubles' record with his 95th against South Carolina on June 21. He also started 269 consecutive games at Clemson, and had a 34-game hitting streak down the stretch.
"I wanted to go out and play every game as hard as I could this season, with it being my last year in college," said Greene. "To be able to look back on the year and know that I was named the best amateur player as the Golden Spikes Award winner, it's just a very special honor."
Greene, who has won every 2002 National Player-of-the-Year award to date, was the 13th overall pick in this past June's Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres.
"USA Baseball is extremely proud to honor Khalil Greene of Clemson with the 2002 Golden Spikes Award," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director / CEO. "Khalil's incredible season in which he helped lead the Tigers back to the College World Series certainly speaks for itself. Khalil proved that he was the premier college player in the nation this season, and we're excited for the Clemson baseball program and their head coach, Jack Leggett."
For the past 24 years, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. (See winners box below.) The award is presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars Robin Ventura, Jason Varitek, Mark Kotsay and Phil Nevin, as well as 2001 winner Mark Prior of the Chicago Cubs.
In addition, USA Baseball announced today their 25th Anniversary Golden Spikes Award Team.
Pitchers: Jim Abbott, Ben McDonald, Mark Prior
Infielders: Pat Burrell, Will Clark, Bob Horner, Phil Nevin, Robin Ventura
Outfielders: J.D. Drew, Terry Francona, Mark Kotsay
The Golden Spikes Award is sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), underscoring the commitment of Major League Baseball players to the grassroots development of baseball programs, particularly for youth, around the world. The MLBPA supports USA Baseball's ongoing efforts to provide instruction for youth baseball players, coaches, and volunteers, and to prepare amateur athletes for professional competition.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball Olympic Team, the USA Baseball National Team, the USA Baseball Junior National team (18-under), and the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16-under) which participate in various international competitions each year.
* Players Named to 25th Anniversary Golden Spikes Award Team
Golden Spikes Award Winners
2002 Khalil Greene - Clemson
2001 *Mark Prior - Southern California
2000 Kip Bouknight - South Carolina
1999 Jason Jennings - Baylor
1998 *Pat Burrell - Miami
1997 *J.D. Drew - Florida State
1996 Travis Lee - San Diego State
1995 *Mark Kotsay - Cal State Fullerton
1994 Jason Varitek - Georgia Tech
1993 Darren Dreifort - Wichita State
1992 *Phil Nevin - Cal State Fullerton
1991 Mike Kelly - Arizona State
1990 Alex Fernandez - Miami-Dade South
1989 *Ben McDonald - Louisiana State
1988 *Robin Ventura - Oklahoma State
1987 *Jim Abbott - Michigan
1986 Mike Loynd - Florida State
1985 *Will Clark - Mississippi State
1984 Oddibe McDowell - Arizona State
1983 Dave Magadan - Alabama
1982 Augie Schmidt - New Orleans
1981 Mike Fuentes - Florida State
1980 *Terry Francona - Arizona
1979 Tim Wallace - Cal State Fullerton
1978 *Bob Horner - Arizona State
2002 Golden Spikes Award Finalists
Russ Adams - North Carolina
Jeff Baker - Clemson
Bobby Brownlie - Rutgers
Khalil Greene - Clemson
Jeremy Guthrie - Stanford