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Mississippi hardball fans will help decide who will be the next C Spire Ferriss Trophy winner honoring the state’s top college baseball player

For the first time in the award’s history, Mississippi hardball fans will have the opportunity to take part in the voting for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, which annually honors the Magnolia state’s top college baseball player.

C Spire, along with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (MSHOF), announced today that fan voting will count for 10 percent of the 2014 Ferriss Trophy award. A 24-member panel of the state’s college baseball coaches and Major League baseball scouts whose territory includes Mississippi will comprise the remaining 90 percent of the voting.

“This gives fans a chance to help identify our state’s best college baseball players,” said Rick Cleveland, executive director of the MSHOF and co-sponsor of the award along with C Spire. “Major League Baseball lets fans choose infielders and outfielders for the All-Star game. Giving our fans, who are some of the most passionate in sports, the chance to have a voice in the process will generate even more interest in an award that has become synonymous with Mississippi college baseball tradition.”

The C Spire Ferriss Trophy will be awarded during a May 19 luncheon program at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. Among recent Ferriss Trophy winners are 2013 winner, Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe, MSU pitcher Chris Stratton (2012), Southern Miss outfielder Tyler Koelling (2011), Ole Miss pitcher Drew Pomeranz (2010) and Belhaven University infielder and pitcher Craig Wescott (2009).

“College baseball fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. “We’re excited about giving them the opportunity to vote for their favorite players for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy.”

The top five finalists for the 2014 Ferriss Trophy include Belhaven University first baseman and relief pitcher Tyler Akins, Ole Miss outfielder Auston Bousfield, Ole Miss pitcher Chris Ellis, Mississippi State reliever Jacob Lindgen and Mississippi State pitcher Ross Mitchell.

Fan voting will begin on Tuesday, May 13 at 9 a.m. CDT and end on Sunday, May 18 at 5 p.m. By visiting C Spire’s new fan voting website, www.csopavoting.com, fans can vote for their favorite college baseball player by simply providing an email address and name, or connecting through Facebook or Twitter. Once an account is created, the voting can begin and fans can choose their first, second and third place winners. Fans will be able to vote via Facebook, Twitter and text messaging and can submit up to three votes per day during the week-long voting period.

Tickets are $35 each and available by calling the MSHOF offices or by going online at http://msfame.com/c-spire-ferriss-trophy/. Instead of a guest speaker this year, Ferriss will do a question and answer session with audience participation.

The Ferriss Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Mississippi baseball legend Dave “Boo” Ferriss, who played for Mississippi State and the Boston Red Sox and was the long-time head baseball coach at Delta State University.

2014 marks the 18th anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 15 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Wireless Outstanding Player Award series.

About C Spire

C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.

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