June 13, 2002
OMAHA, Neb. – Notre Dame senior centerfielder Steve Stanley was named one of three finalists for the American Baseball Coaches Association national player-of-the-year award, during a ceremony held Thursday night in conjunction with the College World Series festivities. The award was presented to Clemson shortstop Khalil Greene, with Nebraska catcher Jed Morris also recognized as one of the three finalists.
Greene (397) and Stanley (380) rank second and third on the NCAA Division I list for career hits, trailing only former Wichita State great Phil Stephenson (418; ’79-’82).
Stanley’s stellar season includes BIG EAST-leading numbers for batting average (.442), on-base percentage (.513), runs scored (75) and hits (114), also ranking second among the conference’s players in stolen bases (31), third in walks (38) and fourth in total bases (140). The only repeat BIG EAST player of the year in the league’s history, Stanley also posted BIG EAST-best numbers for conference batting avg. (.431), runs (30) and hits (44) in BIG EAST regular-season games, also ranking third in league on-base pct. (.508), fourth in stolen bases (11), sixth in total bases (57) and eighth in doubles (8).
His other 2002 numbers include just 11 strikeouts in 308 plate appearances (28.0 PAs per K), one error in 144 fielding chances (.993 fielding pct.), one home run, three triples, 17 doubles and eight sacrifice bunts. Stanley has started every game of his ND career (253, second-best in NCAA Division I history behind the 255 by Chip Hale from 1984-87) and holds Irish records for career runs scored (254) and stolen bases (115), while ranking third in the ND record book for career batting average (.384) and total bases (454), seventh in walks (126) and second in sac. bunts (30).
Stanley’s .442 season batting average is just shy of the Notre Dame record (.447) set by Edwin Hartwell in 1993 while his 114 hits are one back of Dan Peltier’s ND record (115, in 1989). His 75 runs scored rank as the sixth-most in a season ever by an Irish player, just two shy of moving into fourth on that list.