LOS ANGELES, Calif. — California slugger Andrew Vaughn was named the 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner in a live presentation on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter, on Thursday. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the Golden Spikes Award honors the top amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport.
Vaughn is the first Golden Bear athlete and eighth Pac-12 player to win the prestigious award, following Bob Horner (1978), Terry Francona (1980), Oddibe McDowell (1984), Mike Kelly (1991), Mark Prior (2001), Tim Lincecum (2006) and Trevor Bauer (2011).
"Andrew Vaughn pieced together an unforgettable season at Cal this year and we are thrilled to honor his tremendous successes by naming him the forty-first USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. "Andrew and his fellow Golden Spikes Award finalists are exceptional ambassadors for the game of amateur baseball and we are delighted to celebrate their accomplishments with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation at its annual awards dinner."
Vaughn was named the 2018 Pac-12 Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team after a stellar sophomore season in Berkeley. He started all 54 games at first base and led the conference with a .402 batting average, good for third-best in Cal baseball history. In total, he tallied 80 hits on the season, 37 of which were for extra-bases with 14 doubles and a school-record-tying 23 home runs. Vaughn finished the regular season ranked fourth in the nation with a .531 on-base percentage and set the school record with an .819 slugging percentage, tallying more home runs than strikeouts.
Just a sophomore, he was a consensus All-American in 2018 and earned First Team honors by Baseball America, D1Baseball.com, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
All four finalists and their families will be celebrated at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles as part of the 2018 Rod Dedeaux Foundation Awards Dinner. Hosted by the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the dinner will honor the Golden Spikes Award finalists, the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Don Buford, and the 2017 Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Manager of the Year award winner, Jim Leyland.
The award winner was selected through the distribution of ballots to a voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters and accounting for 95% of the vote. Fan voting continued to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2018 and contributed to the remaining 5% of the total vote.
Vaughn joins a group of past winners that include Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).
Historically, Golden Spikes Award winners have later gone on to have tremendous success at the professional level. Of the 40 previous winners, five have earned Rookie of the Year honors, two have won the Cy Young, three were named MVP and eight winners have won 13 World Series championships as either a player or manager. In addition, 18 previous winners have made one or more All-Star Game appearances as a player or manager, combining for 53 total selections.
For more information on the Golden Spikes Award and its past winners, visit GoldenSpikesAward.com or follow along on social media at @USAGoldenSpikes on Instagram and Twitter.