| ||Saturday, June 10|
Honor allows Teixeira to get to Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. -- Georgia Tech third baseman Mark Teixeira figured he'd be playing in his first trip to the College World Series. Instead, he was there Saturday to receive the Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the nation's top college baseball player. The sophomore led the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average (.427), home runs (18), runs scored (104), slugging percentage (.772) and on-base percentage (.547) in helping the Yellow Jackets to a 50-16 record, the ACC title and an NCAA regional berth. But Georgia Tech lost to Southern California in a super regional. "It's very hard to watch the games," Teixeira said. "We were so close. It's not the way I wanted to get to Omaha, but I'll take it. I just wish my teammates were here with me playing. Hopefully next year we'll be here." Teixeira, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound switch-hitter, was three RBI shy of winning the ACC triple crown. He also stole 13 bases in 14 attempts and struck out just 23 times in 320 plate appearances. "He's great on the field and he's great off the field," Yellow Jackets coach Danny Hall said. "You couldn't have picked a better young man who exemplifies what the Dick Howser Trophy stands for." Teixeira became the 14th recipient of the award. Other winners include: Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryan, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College, 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and '93; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J.D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; and Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999. Howser, an All-American at Florida State, coached in the major leagues for more than a decade with the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. He won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The trophy, created in 1987 after Howser's death from brain cancer, is awarded by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Baseball America magazine.
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