Baseball: South Suburban College’s Steve Letz named Division I NJCAA First Team All-American
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media June 17, 2014 8:20PM
Steve Letz, of the Southland Vikings, connects against the Joliet Admirals at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Monday, June 16th, 2014, in Flossmoor. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 19, 2014 6:28AM
Steve Letz can’t quite explain it.
He made no huge adjustments. He didn’t alter his swing or his pregame routine.
This accomplishment could be chalked up to plain, old-fashioned hard work.
An outfielder for South Suburban College, Letz was named First Team All-American by the Division I National Junior College Athletic Association.
It is the second consecutive year he’s received the honor, becoming the first player in South Suburban baseball history to accomplish the feat.
“I don’t even know what to say, but I’m very excited about it,” Letz said with a smile. “I worked very hard for it. It’s an accomplishment knowing how hard I did work for it.”
In helping South Suburban to a 37-21 record and an appearance in the Northern District Tournament, Letz was an offensive force for the Bulldogs all season. He finished his sophomore campaign with a .424 batting average, 11 home runs, 75 RBI, 63 runs and 19 stolen bases.
“Steve deserves every award he received this year. His numbers speak for themselves,” Hall of Fame South Suburban coach Steve Ruzich said in a statement. “I’m so proud of him because he worked extremely hard, and he was a great team player for two seasons.”
South Suburban’s season ended at the Northern District Tournament, the Bulldogs losing to Wabash Valley College and eventual national champion Iowa Western Community College in the double-elimination format.
Letz parlayed his success into a baseball scholarship at Northern Illinois. Letz is playing for the Southland Vikings this summer in the Midwest Collegiate League. He played at Lake Central High School in Dyer, Indiana.
“D-I, that was the motto when I went to South Sub, and I really wanted to transfer to a four-year Division I school,” Letz said. “That was the goal. (The All-American honor), the RBI come from guys getting on base. I can’t do it without them. I have to thank my teammates for that.”