Three Orioles win Gold Gloves; nine 1st-timers, not Trout
By Ben Walker ,AP
November 1, 2012, 1:09 am TWN
Pittsburgh center fielder and San Diego third baseman Chase Headley are among nine players who have won Gold Gloves for the first time.
The awards for fielding excellence were presented Tuesday night by Rawlings.
Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy also was in the first-time group. The Orioles were the only team with three winners, with center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters also being picked by major league managers and coaches.
"It means a lot to me," Hardy said. "It's definitely an award I always hoped to get and never really expected to get. I'm surprised and honored at the same time."
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira each won for the fifth time.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout didn't get chosen despite a season full of sensational catches. The San Francisco Giants were shut out after playing great defense to win the World Series.
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick also were first-time selections.
"I'm just happy I can pull it out for them and get the A's name even more out there," Reddick said. "It's a huge honor, I'm always taking pride in both sides of my game and trying to be a complete player. You never know what one play, whether the first or the ninth inning, is going to win a ballgame. That's what my mother and father taught me."
These were the first major awards presented during the offseason, and the MVPs, Cy Youngs and others will come in mid-November. Gold Gloves always seem to raise a ruckus, with many claiming the prizes — actual gloves colored gold — don't define the most deserving fielders.
Hardy led the AL in fielding percentage, making only six errors in 158 games. Others relying on more advanced metrics and insist Seattle's Brendan Ryan was the best shortstop — then again, even though awards are strictly for fielding, players who don't produce at the plate often get bypassed, and Ryan hit a weak .194. Hardy hit 22 home runs.
"It's definitely an award I've seen a lot of shortstops get that are really flashy and kind of catch the eye of a lot of people," Hardy said. "I don't look at myself that way. I kind of look at myself as just trying to be consistent and steady. I never felt like people noticed."
Wieters, meanwhile, was chosen despite leading AL catchers with 10 errors. He was recognized for the many things he does well — he threw out 39 percent of would-be base stealers and rarely let pitches get past him.