Shelby Named to Wallace Watch List
LEXINGTON – Kentucky baseball standout John Shelby has been named to the 2006 Wallace Watch List for the Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award given by the College Baseball Foundation.
“This is a tremendous honor for John and something he’s very deserving of,” Kentucky head coach John Cohen said. “John has proven the past two seasons that he is not just one of the nation’s best baseball players, but he’s one of the best all-around athletes in the country.”
Shelby, a Lexington native who prepped at Tates Creek High School, is one of 120 players from across the country to be tabbed. As a sophomore in 2005, Shelby led Kentucky in hits (77), home runs (10), runs batted in (52), slugging percentage (.558) and stolen bases (23) while ranking second in batting average (.344) and triples (4).
Last season, Shelby was one of just two players in the Southeastern Conference to hit at least 10 home runs and steal at least 20 bases, joining Tennessee’s Eli Iorg, who was a first-round selection in the 2005 Major League Draft.
The Wallace Watch will be trimmed to 12 semi-finalists by late May. Then the selection committee will narrow the list to three finalists following the NCAA Super Regionals at a press conference in Omaha. The finalists, their head coaches, and their parents will be invited to Lubbock, TX, for a schedule of special events tied to the award banquet, which will again be nationally televised by Fox Sports Network.
Dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach, Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A 4-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District Six his senior year when he led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984 he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, Texas, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.
The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport. Screening Committee members will evaluate the candidates and will continue their review throughout the entire baseball season. The list will expand and contract during the regular season and additional Wallace Watch candidates may be added as the season progresses. Voting for the three finalists and the Wallace Award winner will be conducted by confidential balloting, with totals tabulated by the J.W.Anderson & Associates accounting firm in Lubbock, Texas.