April 7, 2009
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Tuesday added three catchers to the official watch list for the 2009 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, delivered by Papa John's Pizza. Tennessee sophomore Blake Forsythe was among the additions. The Johnny Bench Award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Forsythe is one of 47 total catchers--including five from the Southeastern Conference--on the Bench Award watch list.
A sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., Forsythe is batting .352 this season with 38 hits, 11 home runs and 28 RBI. He ranks fifth in the SEC in home runs (11) and slugging percentage (.759).
Gomes has thrown out nine potential base-stealers this season and has 11 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games this season.
The Bench Award watch list will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists on May 14. Statistics will be compiled on each of the semifinalists and sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine three finalists. Those finalists will be announced June 3, prior to the NCAA Super Regionals and MLB draft.
A final vote among the national committee will take place during the NCAA College World Series, and the finalists will be brought to Wichita, Kan., where the winner will be announced at the 12th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26.
Some of Johnny Bench's MLB honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
For more information about the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza, visit www.wichitasports.com.