Lincecum named Golden Spikes winner
Giants draftee is first player from UW to earn honor
The commercial would go something like this:
Announcer: Tim Lincecum, you've won 12 games, finished the season with an ERA under 2.00, set a Pac-10 record in strikeouts, been named an All-American and been selected No. 10 overall in the recent draft. What are you going to do next?
Tim Lincecum: I'm going to win the Golden Spikes Award!
Lincecum, the ace of the University of Washington baseball team and one of the best college pitchers in the country, was honored with the prestigious 2006 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award on Friday.
Lincecum -- a native of Renton, Washington -- becomes the first-ever winner of the Golden Spikes Award from the UW. He was also the first-ever finalist from the school. The USA Baseball Golden Field Award -- given to the athletic department and head coach of the Golden Spikes Award winner -- has now gone to 23 different schools since its inception in 1978.
The presentation of the award, which will also be sponsored by Major League Baseball, will be held at a later date and time to be determined.
"It doesn't get much better than this," Lincecum said. "Having a great season, going in the draft, this is one of the biggest things to happen to me. Winning the award is a big honor for me. It just feels really good to win it."
Lincecum, a two-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year (2004, 2006) felt really good all season. He started 17 games for the Huskies, going 12-4 with a 1.94 ERA and a nation-best 199 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings. In his April 18 start against the UCLA Bruins, Lincecum struck out 18 on the way to a 5-0 victory.
As a result of Lincecum's collegiate efforts, his draft stock skyrocketed, and he was even in consideration at one point for the No. 1 overall pick.
The pitcher was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the No. 10 overall pick, becoming the University of Washington's highest-drafted baseball player ever. Lincecum is the school's career record holder in multiple pitching categories including wins (30), innings pitched (342) and strikeouts (491).
But in the company of fellow Golden Spikes finalists Evan Longoria, Andrew Miller, Drew Stubbs and David Price -- all of whom were top 10 picks in the draft with the exception of the sophomore Price -- Lincecum was all ready to give his "it's-an-honor-just-to-be-nominated speech."
"I was thinking the same thing," Lincecum said. "I wasn't in the mindset to think about these awards. If it was going to happen, it would happen. There were so many good players. We all played well this season. Just to be in that group is a big deal. It means a lot."
The 2006 Golden Spikes Award winner was announced during the telecast of the 29th Annual USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award show on ESPNU. The telecast, produced by Major League Baseball Productions, highlighted USA Baseball's athlete programs as well as some of the various youth baseball initiatives supported by USA Baseball and Major League Baseball. ESPNU will offer fans additional opportunities to see the show with broadcasts today at 9 p.m ET and 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 24, at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
For the past 28 years, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first-ever presentation of the award to Bob Horner of Arizona State in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
Last year's winner was Alex Gordon of the University of Nebraska. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball stars such as Rickie Weeks ('03), Khalil Greene ('02), Mark Prior ('01), Jason Jennings ('00), Pat Burrell ('98), J.D. Drew ('97), Travis Lee ('96), Mark Kotsay ('95), Jason Varitek ('94) and Phil Nevin ('92). Former Major League stars who have captured the award include Robin Ventura ('88), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79) and Horner.
"USA Baseball is extremely proud to honor Tim Lincecum of the University of Washington with the 2006 Golden Spikes Award," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director/CEO. "Tim's tremendous season and magnificent career show he belongs in the impressive company of the players who have previously won the award. We are very happy for the Washington baseball program and their head coach, Ken Knutson."
The Golden Spikes Award puts a cap on Lincecum's season and college career. Now all that remains is for him to agree to terms with the Giants and begin a new chapter as a professional.
"I's getting very close to where I'm going to put on a San Francisco -- or whatever farm team in their system -- hat," Lincecum said. "Signing is getting very close.
"I'm really psyched for it. It's going to be an exciting time for me. I'm finally going out on my own and finding out what it's all about."
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.