Both the Rays and the Orioles boasted the best defensive teams in baseball in 2013 but only one too home the hardware last night. The Baltimore Orioles committed a Major League record-low 54 errors, and they were rewarded by having three players named 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners.
Third baseman Manny Machado, shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones each got a gold glove as Baltimore became the first club since the 2003-04 Cardinals with at least three Gold Glove Award winners in consecutive seasons.
In a bit of a surprise, the Tampa Bay Rays — with their .990 fielding percentage and total of 59 errors, both the Majors’ second best — were shut out on Tuesday night. The entire Rays infield of James Loney, Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria and Yunel Escobar was among the finalists at each position announced last week.
2013 gave us eight first time winners with Machado and Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons, leading the way. The Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado became just the 10th rookie in history to take home the award and the first since Ichiro Suzuki did so in 2001.
As for the veterans, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molinatook home his sixth Gold Glove, moving into a tie for fourth place in history among catchers. Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino both notched their fourth.
The Kansas City Royals were the only other club with three winners on Tuesday night, as catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer and left fielder Alex Gordon each won an award. Hosmer and Perez were first-time winners, while Gordon notched his third straight.
Both World Series clubs boast a pair of Gold Glove Award winners this year. Along with Victorino, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia earned his third overall.
Meanwhile, Molina’s total of six is the most for any of this year’s winners. Despite his incredible six-year run, Molina would still need seven more to equal Ivan Rodriguez for the most in history by a catcher.
Molina equaled Rodriguez in at least one other category. When Cardinals ace Adam Wainwrigh took home his second Gold Glove, Molina and Wainwright became just the second battery in history to win the award twice, and the first to do so with the same team. (Rodriguez and left-hander Kenny Rogers won Gold Glove Awards with the Rangers in 2000 and the Tigers in ’06.)
Arizona and Colorado round out the clubs with multiple winners. For the D-backs, right fielderGerardo Parra won his second Gold Glove Award, and National League Most Valuable Player Award candidate Paul Goldschmidt notched his first. For the Rockies, Arenado became the first rookie third baseman to win the honor since Boston’s Frank Malzone won in 1957 — the first year of voting. Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez earned his third.
Finally, in a bit of irony, Toronto’s starting pitcher Mark Buehrle was denied a fifth straight award losing to his own teammate as R.A. Dickey,picked up his first Gold Glove.