It may not have come on the professional baseball level.
But for Josh Litchfield, his Division I Gold Glove nomination is just as special.
Early Monday morning, the Summerville native learned that the American Baseball Coaches Association named him to its Division 1 Gold Glove team for his defensive efforts in the Charleston Southern outfield.
He woke up to a social media post from one of his buddies, and a quick search confirmed the news.
“It’s pretty special,” said Litchfield, who played high school ball at Ashley Ridge. “There are some great names on that roster so it’s just an honor to be mentioned alongside them.”
Not only is Litchfield the only Buccaneer on the nine-man team, he’s also the only player from a South Carolina college.
That means he beat out guys like TJ Hopkins, one of his good friends who played four years at the University of South Carolina before the Cincinnati Reds took him in the ninth round of the MLB draft earlier this month.
And speaking of the draft, the Gold Glove roster includes Adley Rutschman, the Oregon State catcher who was the No. 1 overall pick this year. Georgia, Oregon and Louisiana State are some of the other schools represented on the nine-player roster.
And then there’s Charleston Southern.
“That means a lot to our school, having a guy like Josh get recognized on such a high level.” said CSU head coach Adam Ward. “His instincts in the outfield are some of the best I’ve seen and he really has fun out there.”
Heading into his senior year, Litchfield’s success as a defensive specialist preceded him. It started long ago as a Summerville kid, watching Andruw Jones dominate the outfield for the Atlanta Braves.
These days, Litchfield tunes in to watch Ronald Acuna Jr. do the same thing. Defense has always been exciting for him.
But he was also one of the bright spots at the plate for Charleston Southern, despite a tough 23-36 season for the Bucs. Litchfield batted .266 last season with two home runs and 29 RBIs.
“We obviously wanted to do better, but I’m proud of how I’m going out as a senior,” he said. “This award means a lot and really puts a positive cap on my baseball career.”
The Summerville native is ready to use his business degree and enter the workforce. Meanwhile, Ward will be looking to replace his defensive star.
The CSU coach remembers Litchfield walking on to the team two years ago, coming from USC Salkehatchie.
“What he did for us is rare,” Ward added. “You could pencil him in every single day, and know he would deliver. He’s a good player and an even better person.”