Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. The award is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. It is presented each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
In 2016, Mercer University outfielder Kyle Lewis won the prestigious award in a presentation on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter. Past winners also include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006), David Price (2007), Buster Posey (2008), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Bryce Harper (2010), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), A.J. Reed (2014) and Andrew Benintendi (2015).
2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation
When the Golden Spikes Award is presented to the top amateur player on June 29, it will mark the 10th year in a row the award has been presented via an awards show to the entire country.
USA Baseball will compile an initial list of more than 200 candidates for the award. The list is based on recommendations and will include rolling nominations as well, to ensure that all players are considered. USA Baseball officials have reviewed this list with the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board and unveiled the 2017 Golden Spikes Award 55-player preseason watch list on Feb. 15.
On April 12, USA Baseball officials and the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will release the 40-player midseason watch list. A few weeks later, USA Baseball officials will trim the number of players down and release the 25 seminfinalists. The list of semifinalists will be announced on May 31, and that list will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel and former Golden Spikes Award winners, representing a group of more than 200 total voters. As part of this selection process, all votes will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. On June 14, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting for the winner will begin that same day.
Fan voting* will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2017. May 31 will also mark the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on GoldenSpikesAward.com.
The 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented on Thursday, June 29, on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles immediately following the presentation.
Important 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
Wednesday, Feb. 15: 55-man preseason Watch List released, selected by the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board
Monday, March 27: Fan nominations begin
Sunday, April 2: Deadline for fan nominations
Wednesday, April 12: 40-man midseason Watch List released, selected by the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board
Wednesday, May 31: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials and the Golden Spikes Award Voting Committee; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, June 9: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Wednesday, June 14: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 23: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, June 29: Golden Spikes Award presentation
*The "fans" will be treated as one "voter" in the voting process for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award, and their vote will count for ~0.5% of the overall vote (one of over 200 voters in the committee). In the semifinalist round the three players receiving the highest percentage of the fan vote will each receive one vote from the "fans." In the finalist round, the one player receiving the highest percentage of the fan vote will receive one vote from the "fans."