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Fairbanks caps season by picking up All-American honors

Superior Telegram

The post-season awards keep rolling in for University of Wisconsin-Superior outfielder Tom Fairbanks, who had been named All-American First Team by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the national association for baseball coaches at the college level.

Fairbanks, a senior from Brainerd, Minn., is the first UWS player ever to receive All-American honors from the ABCA.

“I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to Tom and his performance this season,” UWS coach Nick Bursik said. “The bottom line is he worked incredibly hard on and off the field, he was 100 percent committed to being the best player he could be and he was rewarded with a consistent performance this season.

“He has deserved every honor that he has received as a result of his senior season. I’m extremely proud of Tom and excited for what the future holds for him because I think he has a chance to play baseball for a while after college.”

In 2014 the Yellowjackets finished 17-18 overall and 8-14 in the WIAC, where they placed fifth after being chosen to finish seventh in the WIAC pre-season poll. The Yellowjackets exceeded WIAC expectations, and much of it had to do with Fairbanks, who enjoyed a season of historical proportions.

Appearing in all 35 games, Fairbanks batted .439 (58 hits in 132 at bats). He had seven doubles, eight triples and 14 home runs to go along with 44 runs scored and 61 runs batted in. Fairbanks had a slugging percentage of .932 and an on-base percentage of .529. Fairbanks led the Yellowjackets in most offensive categories in 2014 and led the WIAC in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, triples, and runs batted in.

The All-American award wasn’t all that came Fairbanks’ way on Friday. It was also announced by the ABCA that Fairbanks was named All-Midwest Region First Team, adding to a post-season haul that already included All-WIAC First Team, All-Midwest Region First Team by, and All-American honorable mention

Fairbanks attended a Minnesota Twins tryout camp on May 20 at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minn. He said scouts from the Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins — all teams that saw him play during the season — were in attendance.

“Obviously I’d love to have the chance to play for any team, and it’s not too big of a deal but if I could get picked up by the Twins that would be an ultimate dream come true,” Fairbanks said.

Independent teams also are eying Fairbanks in case his name doesn’t land on draft boards. Either way, a stellar performance as a senior has given him a chance.

“After this season, the door has opened up again and the dream is still alive,” he said. “I would assume I’m going to get another chance to play at a higher level, but I just have to wait and see what happens.”