Monday July 22nd, 2024 1:49PM

Dogs' Condon snags Dick Howser award

By Georgia Sports Communications

OMAHA, Neb. — Georgia's All-America third baseman/outfielder Charlie Condon is bringing home the 2024 Dick Howser Trophy as the nation’s top Division I baseball player, it was announced Thursday live on the MLB Network from Charles Schwab Stadium, site of the College World Series.

Condon, who posted one of the greatest seasons in college baseball history, becomes the first Bulldog to win the award presented by The Game Headwear and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).  Condon is the 37th recipient of the trophy. He could become just the third player in Division 1 history to lead the country in both batting average and home runs in the same season.

“This is a very prestigious award, and it’s been fun being around the people associated with the Dick Howser Trophy and the Howser family,” said Condon. “It meant a lot to be up for the award and now also to win it. I’ve said before it’s an individual recognition, but it comes from a big support staff including family, teammates and coaches from Georgia and a loving group in Athens. I’m honored to bring the award back to represent the University of Georgia.”

Condon will receive the Dick Howser Trophy during a news conference Friday morning at Charles Schwab Stadium. The other finalists were second baseman Travis Bazzana (Oregon State), pitcher Chase Burns (Wake Forest), first baseman/pitcher Jac Caglianone (Florida) and pitcher Hagen Smith (Arkansas). The NCBWA Stopper of the Year and National Coach of the Year will be announced then too.

A 6-6, 216-pound native of Marietta, Ga., Condon currently leads the NCAA in batting (.443), home runs (a BBCOR-era record 37), slugging percentage (1.009), total bases (233) and OPS (1.565). The 2024 SEC Player of the Year, he ranked third nationally in on-base percentage (.566) and posted a team-high 57 walks, including 28 intentional free passes. He had seven multi-home run games and homered in eight consecutive contests from April 26-May 9, one shy of the NCAA record. He made starts at third base, first base and all three outfield positions for the eighth-ranked Bulldogs who finished 43-17 and one game shy of another College World Series appearance. It was Georgia’s deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since 2008 and came in the first season under the direction of Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson.

“It’s an extreme honor for Charlie to be the Dick Howser Trophy winner,” Johnson said. “You think about it, 300 teams in college baseball, and all the players on every team and to be recognized as the best player in college baseball in that pool is hard to describe and to put into words. What he’s done for the University of Georgia and our baseball program in a short time is unrivaled. The great thing about Charlie is you always hope your best player is a great human being, who is caring and a great teammate, and how important it is to develop yourself and your teammates through leadership and hard work. Charlie checks all those boxes. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and for the rest of my coaching career, I would bet I’ll never have another Charlie Condon. For me, it’s a season I’ll never forget, and I’m one of Charlie Condon’s biggest fans the rest of his life.”

The Dick Howser Trophy is given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987. The trophy is regarded as baseball’s most prestigious award and the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character, and courage – all qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

The winner of the Dick Howser Trophy has his name inscribed on the permanent trophy, which is a bronze bust of Howser, Both the recipient and his school receive a special trophy to keep. The Howser Trophy was created in 1987. NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters, and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization. 

Also, this week, Condon has been named the Player of the Year by Baseball America, Perfect Game plus has earned a spot on First Team All-America teams by multiple organizations. He is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Bobby Bragan Slugger of the Year. The Golden Spikes Award recipient will be announced June 22 on ESPN during the College World Series Finals.

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