Texas Baseball First Golden Spikes Award Winner, Ivan Melendez
Texas Baseball’s Melendez wins Golden Spikes Award
AUSTIN, Texas - On June 24, 2022, Texas Baseball's Ivan Melendez was named the 44th Golden Spikes Award Winner during the College World Series broadcasts on ESPN by USA Baseball becoming the first Texas Longhorn to win the award.
The Golden Spikes Award is given to the best college baseball player in the United States based on their play on the field (athletics), integrity of play (sportsmanship), the person they are (character), and what they mean and have given to the game of baseball.
In addition to this honor, Melendez has been named the Dick Howser Trophy winner as the nation’s best college baseball player and received National Player of the Year recognition by Collegiate Baseball, D1 Baseball and Perfect Game.
Melendez finished his redshirt-junior season leading the nation in home runs (32), RBI (94), slugging percentage (.863), and total bases (214), as well as landing in the top 10 in three other offensive categories: hits (96), on-base percentage (.508), and runs scored (75). He broke Texas’ regular-season home run record in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament after launching his 29th homer of the year. Melendez followed that up by breaking the BBCOR-era home run record set by fellow Golden Spikes Award winner Kris Bryant in 2013 with his 32nd during the Greenville Super Regional.
Melendez was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and earned conference Player of the Week a record five times throughout the regular season.
In an interview just after the announcement that Texas would play Air Force in the first game of the Regionals, Melendez commented, "Hitting home runs is not easy!" We asked, "How do you make it look so easy?" Melendez said:
In March during a road trip to South Carolina, Melendez and a teammate were arriving at the stadium for practice when they were approached by a homeless gentleman. Unknowing that another teammates mom was watching an captured Melendez reach into his wallet and providing the homeless man with a gift.