JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Florida International University infielder Garrett Wittels is one of five NCAA athletes nominated for ESPN’s 2010 ‘Best male college athlete’ award. Fan voting will determine the winner.

Wittels, 20, garnered national press by finishing the 2010 baseball season with a 56-game hitting streak, second-longest in Division 1 history. He will have a chance to extend the streak — and chase Robin Ventura’s 58-game record, set at Oklahoma State in 1987 — when he suits up for FIU’s 2011 baseball season.

The 2010 ‘Best male college athlete’ will be announced July 14 (9:00pm ET) at the annual ESPY Awards on ESPN. There are two ways to cast your vote beforehand:

  1. Go to the ESPY home page, register for a free account, and cast your vote. You can vote on as few, or as many, of the several dozen award categories (e.g., Best sports movie, Best female tennis player) as you wish.
  2. Go to ESPN’s Facebook page, become a ‘fan’, click on the ‘ESPYs voting’ tab, and cast your vote.

(Of the two ways to cast a vote, Facebook’s appears to be the easiest.)

Prior winners of the ‘Best male college athlete’ award include University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (2008 and 2009) and USC running back Reggie Bush (2006). Since the ‘Best male college athlete’ award was introduced in 2002, no baseball player has won it.

Wittels is a jack-of-all-trades, at least when it comes to the infield. During the 2010 season he played third base (24 games), shortstop (24 games), second base (16 games) and even pitched (4 games). He finished the regular season with a team-leading .413 batting average, .541 slugging percentage and 60 RBIs. This summer he is playing for the Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League.

Thanks to Jewish Baseball News fans Edgar Benes and Lishka Benes Wittels for the tip on Garrett’s nomination. For prior stories about him, click here.