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Charlie Condon wins Golden Spikes Award, solidifies Georgia greatness

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs06/22/24

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Charlie Condon just added another prestigious award to his trophy case for the 2024 season, and possibly solidified his status as the greatest Georgia Baseball player of all time. After taking home the Dick Howser Trophy last week, Condon was named the recipient of the Golden Spikes Award on Saturday as the national player of the year according to USA Baseball. Other finalists included Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana and Arkansas’s Hagen Smith.

Condon is the first player in Georgia program history to win the Golden Spikes Award. Previously, pitcher Cris Carpenter (1987), pitcher/designated hitter Derek Lilliquist (1987), pitcher Dave Fleming (1990) and shortstop Gordon Beckham (2008) were finalists.

“It’s a tribute to the organization as a whole and everybody that’s involved with UGA,” Condon shared in a statement via Georgia Sports Communications. “I share this with everybody that was part of this historic season. It’s a start of something new for Georgia Baseball. I’m real excited to bring this back to Athens for the first time.”

The Marietta, Ga. native finished his season hitting an NCAA-best .433 with 37 home runs, 78 RBI and 100 hits. His 1.009 slugging percentage also ranked tops in the nation. He won SEC Player of the Year, becoming just the second Georgia player to do so, and made starts at third base, first base and all three outfield positions for the nationally seeded Bulldogs.

With his 34th round-tripper of the season, Condon set a new NCAA mark for single-season home runs in the BBCOR era (since 2011). He passed Florida two-way star Jac Caglianone’s record set in 2023 in 71 games and finished just three home runs shy of tying the all-time SEC record set by Brandon Larson in LSU’s 69-game run to the 1998 national championship. The only players with more home runs in a single season than Condon are Incaviglia, Jeff Ledbetter (Florida State – 1982), Lance Berkman (Rice – 1997) and Larson.

“I’ve said this, you won’t ever find another Charlie Condon, at least in my time, in my coaching career,” Georgia head coach Wes Johnson said after UGA’s season-ending loss earlier this week. “There will be another one come along probably after I’m dead and gone. But you’re lucky if you coach Charlie Condons once every 10 years. You’re extremely lucky.”

“It’s hard to put into words, what a great person Charlie is, he’s got great parents, and he’s a tremendously hard worker,” Johnson added in a statement on Saturday. “What he did for our program this year, he elevated our program and elevated the game that he plays. He moved around positions in the fall and that ultimately helped him as a baseball player. And now to see the result, it’s impressive. For him to win the Golden Spikes Award, he will have that for the rest of his life, and it’s something for Georgia that we can talk about and recruit with that no other team can this year. It’s like winning the national title. There’s only one national champion, there’s only one Golden Spikes winner, and I’m proud it’s Charlie Condon.”

Condon is projected as one of the top picks in this summer’s MLB Draft. It comes just a year after posting one of the greatest freshman seasons in school history as he captured the team’s Triple Crown. Condon was named National Freshman of the Year and earned numerous All-American honors. He was a semifinalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award.

Georgia wrapped up its season with a 43-17 record, falling one game short of advancing to the College World Series. The Bulldogs won more games this year – both overall and in SEC play – than any previous team in program history under the direction of a first-year head coach. Wes Johnson became just the second head coach in program history to host an NCAA Tournament regional in his first season on the job, and the Bulldogs advanced out of said regional for the first time since 2008 thanks in large part due to Condon.

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