A pair of San José State University baseball players, senior Myles Richard and freshman Josh Nashed, stood among baseball's best as honorees at the 31st annual Santa Clara County Hot Stove Banquet at the San Jose Elks Club on Tuesday night.
Each year, the Hot Stove Banquet salutes athletes from high school level to Major League Baseball who have played in Santa Clara County.
JB Long, a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory and current Pac-12 Networks broadcaster, led the event. Other speakers included Oakland Athletics broadcaster Glen Kuiper, San Francisco Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans and each of the 17 award winners.
Nashed took home High School Player of the Year honors while Richard was this year's Spartan recipient of the Loyd Christopher Award, given to one member of the San José State, Stanford and Santa Clara programs.
Nashed, a San Jose, Calif., native and graduate of Leland High School, hit .471 with 49 hits, 25 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples and two home runs as a senior in 2014. He also posted a 0.44 ERA in 16 innings on the mound and went 2-0 with three saves for the Chargers en route to being named San Jose Mercury News Player of the Year.
Richard, a Beaverton, Ore., native, joins Mike Simonini, Brian Yocke, Justin Santich-Hughes (twice), Kevin Frandsen, Nick Epidendio and Jason Martin in the group of Spartans to win the Loyd Christopher Award. The award is named for the late Loyd Christopher, who spent much of his career as a scout after a long stint as a professional baseball player. A $500.00 scholarship grant is given to the college player nominated by his coaches.
Nashed and Richard joined a host of Hot Stove winners that included Major League Player of the Year Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies, College Player of the Year Alex Blandino of Stanford and College Pitcher of the Year Tyler Davis of Washington, amongst others.
The Spartans open the 2015 campaign on Feb. 13-15 when they visit Loyola Marymount before hosting San Francisco on Feb. 17 and Northern Colorado on Feb. 20-22 to kick off the home slate at Municipal Stadium.