OKLAHOMA CITY — In his fifth season as a member of the USA Softball Men's Slow Pitch National Team, middle infielder Bryson Baker (Woodland, Calif.) has earned his first USA Softball Male Slow Pitch Athlete of the Year accolades the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. The 2014 season was a knockout year for Baker, who in addition to posting his international career-high stats also claimed the ASA/USA Men's Super Slow Pitch National Championship as a member of LongHaul/Hortenbach Auto/Easton.
"It's a tremendous honor to be chosen as the 2014 ASA/USA Male Slow Pitch Athlete of the Year," said Baker. "There's a lot of great talent that play this game so to be chosen is very humbling."
Heading north to Canada for Border Battle VI, the USA Softball Men's Slow Pitch National Team captured their fifth Border Battle title after competing for the first time on international soil. En route to the Border Battle title, Baker was a force to be reckoned with, leading the team in batting average, RBI and runs scored. Seeing action in each of Team USA's games last summer, Baker connected for a hit in all but eight at-bats to produce a .814 (35-for-43) batting average throughout nine games with the Red, White and Blue.
"Bryson's selection is indicative of his play on the field, but more importantly, it reflects his dedication to honorably represent our great nation and the sport we love," said USA Softball Slow Pitch National Team Head Coach Steve Shortland. "He's a tremendous ambassador for our game and this award reflects that."
For the summer, Baker finished with a .814 batting average, 34 runs scored, 12 home runs, 37 RBI and a 1.791 slugging percentage. His best performance of the summer came against the USA Softball Men's Future's National Team, where he batted a perfect 5-for-5 with three home runs and five RBI. In the Border Battle, Baker was 3-for 4 (.750) with three singles and three runs scored.
The 2015 schedule and roster for the USA Softball Men's Slow Pitch National Team will be announced later this spring. Fans can follow along and find updates at USASoftball.com.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 74 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.