RICHMOND, Va. - College Baseball Insider (CBI) has announced Marty Gantt as a winner of the 2012 Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award, an honor that recognizes courage, overcoming adversity and inspiration in college baseball.
The award is named for Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter, who donated a kidney to one of his freshman baseball players, Kevin Jordan, prior to the 2011 season.
A native of North Augusta, S.C., Gantt was born with an underdeveloped right hand. His fingers on his glove hand end right past his knuckles. However, Gantt's impediments did not keep him from leading the Cougars to the NCAA postseason as he won the Southern Conference Player of the Year award from the media and the coaches. He was named an ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American as he led the team with a .373 average to go with 11 home runs, 46 RBI and 29 stolen bases. Gantt led the conference and finished ninth in the country with 68 runs scored.
This summer, Gantt was drafted in the seventh round of the MLB Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He is currently playing for the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.
Along with Gantt, CBI also selected Clemson's Mike Kent, Texas' Alex Silver, UT Martin's Carter Smith and Valparaiso's Tanner Vavra as winners of the award.