San Diego State Pitcher Named USA Athlete Of The Year

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DURHAM, N.C.) – USA Baseball will present San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the 2008 Richard W. "Dick" Case Award, Saturday, May 9, for his performance on the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) and the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team last summer. The award recognizes USA Baseball's Athlete of the Year and honors the organization's founding Executive Director/CEO.

A native of San Diego, Strasburg was a key part of the National Team’s undefeated season in 2008 (24-0). The summer was highlighted by Haarlem Baseball Week and FISU World University Championship titles, as well as two victories over rival Cuba’s top professional team. Strasburg led a stellar pitching staff, going 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched.

On the heels of his National Team performance, Strasburg was named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team, making the then sophomore the only collegiate player on a team comprised on non-25-man-roster Major League Baseball professionals. Following a dominating showing over the Netherlands in the Olympic preliminary rounds, Strasburg was pegged as the starter against Cuba in the semifinals. Despite a loss in that game, Team USA went on to defeat Japan the next day to secure the bronze medal. Strasburg finished the Olympic Games at 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched.

"Stephen Strasburg went above and beyond for his country in 2008,” USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler said.

"To following a grueling National Team schedule with the performance he gave us in Beijing was nothing short of spectacular. There is no one more deserving than Stephen for this year’s award."

Strasburg joins past winners Huston Street (2003), Ryan Zimmerman (2004), Ryan Shealy (2005), J.P. Arencibia (2006), and Jayson Nix (2007) as recipients of the award. The junior right-hander is currently leading a San Diego State Aztecs team that has been nationally ranked for much of the year, and he is on the watch list for USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award, which annually recognizes the top collegiate player in the country.

Strasburg was selected as USA Baseball’s player of the year in January. He was the organization’s nominee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee’s SportsMan of the Year Award. Eric Campbell, General Manager of Professional and National Teams for USA Baseball, and a team administrator for both the National and Olympic Teams in 2008, will be on-hand to present Strasburg with the award.