When you’ve got a good thing, why not include as many as possible?
That is the mindset behind the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA) presented by SR Bats going national.
Beginning today, the BBCSA will be open to nominations from all NCAA Division I baseball programs in the country for the 2020 season. The award, created by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, is based on performance at the plate, academics and personal integrity, including work in their respective communities.
“We are very excited about taking the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award national”, said Tracy Taylor, Executive Director of the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation and the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award. “The acceptance of the award and its criteria of athletic achievement, academics and integrity has been outstanding at every step along the way.
“It is a tribute to Bobby Bragan and his vision and values that this award continues to grow and make its mark on the college baseball landscape. We have had three outstanding winners so far, and look forward to seeing what the 2020 season holds. As always, we would like to thank our sponsor SR Bats for their continued support.”
Texas Tech players have won two of the first three awards, with Hunter Hargrove receiving the initial BBCSA in 2017, and Josh Jung winning last year. Dallas Baptist’s Devlin Granberg took home the honor in 2018.
The BBCSA watch list will be released Feb. 12. The winner of this year’s award will be announced in June and honored at a gala in the fall at the Fort Worth Club.
The BBCSA originally started out in 2017 as an honor going to the top college hitter in Texas. In 2019, the award expanded, becoming a regional award covering Division I programs in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Taylor said plans were to remain regional for another year before launching the award on a national scale, but the idea to move those plans up a year became very popular.
“We went to several of the programs we’d become familiar with and asked what did they think. Did it make sense? The response was overwhelming. They said, ‘Yes, you should definitely go national,'” Taylor said.
Taylor got reinforcements for those responses after setting up a booth at the American Baseball Coaches Association meeting in Nashville recently.
“The coaches there were stopping by and asking about the award, and they were very impressed,” he said. “Coaches from some of the biggest programs in the country got excited and said, ‘Man, this is great.’
“Having coaches from Clemson, Mississippi State, San Diego State, outstanding programs from the Big Ten and ACC saying things like that, it was just icing on the cake. It made sense for us to do this – and ahead of schedule.”
Among the big-time college coaches who like the award going national is TCU Horned Frogs Coach Jim Schlossnagle, calling it “exciting news for all of baseball, not just college baseball.”
“Bobby Bragan was a very near and dear friend of mine. He advised me on many occasions over the years,” Schlossnagle continued. “The Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award embodies everything that Bobby was about – integrity, passion for the game, and the all-around development of the player, on and off the field.”
Former dean of SMU Law School Paul Rogers is this year’s BBCSA Selection Committee Chairman. He is also the long-time president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research and author of numerous baseball books, including one on former major leaguer and BBCSA Advisory Committee member Eddie Robinson.
“We are very excited about the future of the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award as we expand to make it a national award this year,” Rogers said. “Our goal is to annually celebrate all that is positive and good about college baseball.”
For more information about the BBCSA presented by SR Bats, college baseball fans can visit www.bobbybraganslugger.org.