June 2, 2005
Tucson, AZ - Florida State sophomore Shane Robinson was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year Thursday. Robinson, a sophomore from Tampa, FL, is the first Seminole to win that award since J.D. Drew took home the honor in 1997. Robinson and Drew are the only Seminoles to win Collegiate Baseball's top honor since the award began in 1984.
"It is nice to be recognized on a national level and I want to share this with my teammates, coaches and family," said the Robinson. "It is nice to be honored like this. It is mind boggling. It really hasn't set in yet. I am trying not to think about it too much. I just want to keep doing what I have been doing all season but this is a tremendous honor."
"We are very excited that Shane was selected for this honor," said head coach Mike Martin. "We fell it is well deserved. He has meant so much to this baseball team and I think that needs to be taken into consideration. On an award like this people need to ask themselves what was this player's value to the team. This is a guy hitting .439 and he has stolen 46 bases. It is very encouraging that he was chosen for what he means to his team."
Robinson leads the nation in runs scored and is the only player in America who has scored 90 or more runs this season. Robinson is second in the nation in hits and at bats, third in steals and in the top five for batting average, on base percentage and doubles. The sophomore is the only player in America in the top five in every one of the following categories: on base percentage, average, runs, hits and doubles. He is also ninth in the nation in total bases.
Robinson was named SEBaseball.com's ACC Player of the Year and is a candidate for every National Player of the Year honor. He is a USA Today/SportsWeekly First Team All-American and now a Louisville Slugger/TPX First Team All-American as well. He was named first team All-ACC at last week's conference tournament and was a candidate for ACC Player of the Year honors. On top of his Collegiate Baseball national honor he is a semi-finalist for the Baseball America, Brooks Wallace and Dick Howser Awards as the best player in college baseball this season.
Robinson enjoyed a school record 40-game hitting streak earlier this season and is the first player in FSU history to record 100 hits and steal 40 bases in the same year. The sophomore was the first player in the nation to reach the 100-hit plateau this year. He won the regular season ACC batting title and has more hits, runs, stolen bases and total bases than any player in the conference.
Despite all his accolades, Robinson had to overcome many obstacles on his way to national player of the year honors. He does not hit a lot of home runs and he is a leadoff hitter. On top of that, he is also just a sophomore. The last sophomore to win the award was Kevin Mench of Delaware in 1998. Robinson, Mench and Mike Kelly of Arizona State in 1990 are the only sophomore to be named as Collegiate Baseball's Player of the Year.
"Playing out of the leadoff spot was a position I wanted to be in and a position I wanted the coaches to put me in," said Robinson. "I wanted them to have confidence in me, my abilities and what I could do for this team. The guys that put up the power numbers are great but it is nice to be recognized for as one of the little guys that can get things done like hitting for average, base running and on base percentage."
"This is the first time I can remember a sophomore winning an award like this but what is most satisfying is the fact that he is an even better person than he is a baseball player," said Martin.
Robinson is still in the running for the Howser Trophy, Baseball America's National Player of the Year Award and the Brooks Wallace Award. The last four winners of the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year have gone on to win the Xanthius Dick Howser Award as well, a good sign for the Seminole.
Robinson and the 10th-ranked Seminoles return to the field Friday as they open NCAA Tournament play versus Army. The game is set to start at 7:00 p.m. Single-game tickets for Friday's NCAA Baseball Regional Games 1 and 2 will go on sale Thursday evening at 6PM at seminoles.com. Phone and walk-up sales for Friday's games will begin Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.