By Dylan Hornik
The College World Series became a blue-and-orange bash on Tuesday night, as Florida captured the first title in school history with a 6-1 victory over LSU. Gators ace Alex Faedo was named the CWS Most Outstanding Player without even throwing a pitch in the best-of-three championship round. Over two earlier starts against TCU, he tossed 14 1/3 shutout innings and racked up 22 strikeouts to earn the distinction.
Faedo has a chance to carry his success into the pros soon, as the Detroit Tigers took him with the 18th overall pick in this year's MLB Draft. Not every MOP has turned into an All-Star at the Major League level, though. There are enough flameouts in college baseball's history to keep us from considering Faedo a lock in the Majors.
Still, some have gone on to have great careers, and a few have become household names. Here are the top 10 best-known CWS Most Outstanding Players.
10. Bob Horner, Arizona State, 1977
Horner manned the hot corner for Arizona State and hit .444 with nine RBI in the 1977 tournament. He became a prodigious power hitter for a short while in the Majors, picking up a top-10 National League MVP Award finish and an All-Star appearance over 10 seasons with Atlanta and St. Louis. He averaged 35 home runs per 162 games for his career.
9. Phil Nevin, Cal State Fullerton, 1992
Nevin had one of the most memorable appearances in the CWS ever. He went 10-for-19 with two home runs and seven runs scored. He didn't live up to his status as the first overall pick in the 1992 Draft, but he still carved out a solid 12-year career. His only All-Star appearance came in 2001, when he hit .306 with 41 of his 208 career homers.
8. Pat Burrell, Miami, 1996
The third baseman hit .500 with a couple of homers for the Hurricanes, who lost the championship on a walk-off home run to LSU's Warren Morris. Burrell went on to a 12-year MLB career, mostly with the Phillies, who took him first overall in 1998, and he won a pair of World Series rings. He earned a top-10 NL MVP Award finish in 2005 after posting a .281 average and hitting 32 homers.
7. Mark Kotsay, Cal State Fullerton, 1995
Kotsay's MLB career didn't equal his performance at Fullerton, but it would have been nearly impossible to do so. He led all hitters with a .563 average in the 1995 tournament, and he still owns the career record for highest average in Omaha at .517. In the 1995 title game, he swatted two home runs and closed the game out on the mound. Kotsay went on to have a 17-year MLB career and amassed a 21.5 career WAR for seven teams.
6. Sal Bando, Arizona State, 1965
A four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion, Bando brought Arizona State its first CWS title in 1965 by hitting .480 and setting two (since-broken) records with 12 hits and 21 total bases. In the Majors, Bando hit 242 career home runs and had three top-five American League MVP Award finishes for Oakland, where he spent 11 of his 16 MLB seasons.
5. Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt, 2014
The Braves rookie shortstop hit .323 and scored five runs while playing stellar defense in Omaha when Vanderbilt claimed its first title. Swanson actually led the Commodores to the finals again in 2015, when Virginia took home the crown. The Diamondbacks took him first overall in the 2015 Draft, and he was the centerpiece of a trade that took him to Atlanta, where he currently roams the infield.
4. Jackie Bradley Jr., South Carolina, 2010
The starting center fielder for the 2016 AL All-Star team hit .345 as a sophomore in the 2010 tournament, lifting the Gamecocks to the first of back-to-back titles. Bradley set career highs in almost every offensive category in 2016 and is part of Boston's "Killer B's" outfield along with Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts.
3. Huston Street, Texas, 2002
It's been 15 years, but Street still holds the record for most saves in Omaha after slamming the door shut four times for Augie Garrido's Longhorns. He won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 for the A's and recorded seven straight 20-save seasons from 2009-15. He now ranks third among active players in career saves with 324.
2. Terry Francona, Arizona, 1980
"Tito" is known best as the manager of the team that at long last broke the Curse of the Bambino, but he played a key role on the field during his days as a Wildcat. Francona hit .458 in the 1980 CWS and set a record by hitting safely in seven consecutive at-bats (the record has since been broken by Dave Magadan and Barry Bonds, who are tied with eight). He parlayed a nine-year MLB playing career into .533 career winning percentage and two World Series rings as the manager of the Red Sox, Indians and Phillies.
1. Dave Winfield, Minnesota, 1973
The only Hall of Famer on this list, Winfield did it all for the Golden Gophers, who lost to Southern California in the semifinals after the Trojans put up one of the greatest comebacks in College World Series history. Winfield hit .467 for the series and tossed 17 shutout innings while striking out 29 in two starts. He went on to collect 3,110 hits and 465 home runs as an outfielder for six MLB teams before Cooperstown came calling in 2001.
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Dylan Hornik is a contributor for Sports on Earth.