Tuesday July 10, 2012Florida's Preston Tucker Accepts Capital One Cup
Former Gator outfielder Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) accepted the Capital One Cup on behalf of the University of Florida men’s athletics program on Wednesday, July 11 in Los Angeles. For the second consecutive year, the Gators were honored at the ESPY Awards televised live by ESPN, during which the Capital One trophy was presented along with a combined $400,000 to support student athlete scholarships.
Coming into the spring ranked 18th in the men’s Capital One Cup standings, Florida vaulted into first place behind the performances of the outdoor track and field and baseball teams. After winning their first-ever NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the Gators earned 60 points towards the Capital One Cup and overtook the top position. With a sixth-place finish in the final USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll, Florida secured their second-straight Capital One Cup title.
"It has been an honor to represent the University of Florida Athletic program at the ESPYs and accept the Capital One Cup on behalf of all of the Gator student-athletes and coaches,” Tucker said. “There is a special bond and camaraderie among all of the athletes and teams and I'm very proud to be a Florida Gator.”
A second-team choice by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Tucker achieved All-America status for the second-consecutive season after hitting .321 with 57 runs, 50 RBI, 35 walks, 17 doubles and 16 round-trippers in his final collegiate campaign. The seventh-round selection of the Houston Astros departs Gainesville as the school's all-time leader in games played (265), games started (259), total bases (596), at bats (1,035), hits (341), RBI (258) and doubles (70).
Tucker was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2012 after being a first-team choice during his junior season and was a second-team pick in 2010. In addition, he was the 2009 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year with LSU's Matty Ott. Tucker powered UF's offense with a .393 (11-for-28) performance in NCAA play this year and became the first Gator to achieve Regional All-Tournament status all four years of his career. He is the lone UF player to earn Most Outstanding Player recognition twice (2009 & 2011). In 30 career NCAA Tourney games, Tucker batted .368 (46-for-125) and holds school records in career at bats (125), hits (46), RBI (31), runs (29), homers (11) and doubles (10).