Former Razorback Eric Hinske Earns American Le
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Arkansas Razorbacks and current Toronto Blue Jay third baseman Eric Hinske was named the American League Rookie of the Year today by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
A native of Neenah, Wis., Hinske joined the Blue Jays as part of a trade last offseason after signing with the Chicago Cubs in 1998.
Hinske finished the 2002 campaign with a .279 batting average, 24 home runs, 84 RBI and 38 doubles. Hinske also won the Rookie of the Year designation from The Sporting News and the Players’ Choice Awards. Both of those awards were voted on by the Major League Baseball players.
“It is a tremendous honor both personally and professionally,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “It gives you a tremendous amount of pride as a Razorback to have a former player do so well at the big league level.”
Hinske played for the Razorbacks from 1996-98 under former head coach Norm DeBriyn. Hinske finished his collegiate career with a .348 batting average, 30 home runs, 173 RBI and 55 doubles. Hinske ranks eighth on the Arkansas career chart in home runs, ninth in doubles, sixth in slugging percentage (.608) and fifth in RBI.
“Eric is a Wisconsin product and we always had success recruiting there,” DeBriyn said. “He might be the best player to ever come out of Wisconsin. This award is a tribute to his ability and work ethic. He has shown signs of having a long, successful career in the big leagues.”
In the voting tally, Hinske finished with 122 total points including 19 first-place votes and nine second-place votes. Hinske won the award by a 25-point margin over Rodrigo Lopez of the Baltimore Orioles who finished with 97 total points. Hinske garnered all but nine of the first-place votes in the balloting.
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