New Mexico's Garver and Peterson Named National Baseball Award Semifinalists

May 18, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - New Mexico baseball student-athletes Mitchell Garver and D.J. Peterson have been named semifinalists for two national awards this week. Garver, a junior catcher, is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Wednesday, May 16. Peterson, a sophomore third baseman, is one of 35 semifinalists announced today for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations.

The Johnny Bench Award has been given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher since 2000. The three 2012 finalists will be honored at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28. TCU's Bryan Holaday was the 2010 Johnny Bench Award recipient.

The Dick Howser Trophy, presented to the top player in collegiate baseball, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life. Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), and coached the Seminoles in 1979, after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. Howser passed away from brain cancer in 1987. Former San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg was the 2009 Dick Howser Trophy recipient.