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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

New formula for determining winner means fans will influence 10 percent of the award total; sparking renewed excitement, interest and engagement with their favorite players and schools

Jackson, Miss., (May 11, 2015) – For only the second 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 2015 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 recognize our state’s top 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 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 18 luncheon program at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. Among recent Ferriss Trophy winners are 2014 winner, Ole Miss outfielder Auston Bousfield, Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe (2013), 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 2015 Ferriss Trophy include Southern Miss pitcher James McMahon, Mississippi State infielder Wes Rea, Jackson State infielder Melvin Rodriguez, Millsaps pitcher-infielder Keith Shumaker and Ole Miss pitcher Scott Weathersby.

Fan voting will begin on Tuesday, May 12 at 9 a.m. CST and conclude on Sunday, May 17 at 12 noon. By visiting C Spire’s fan voting website, www.csopavoting.com, fans can support 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 $40 each and available by calling the MSHOF offices at 601.982.8264 or by going online at http://msfame.com/c-spire-ferriss-trophy/.

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.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards program. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 18 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 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.