Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., and ESPN2 announced tonight that a club record three Kansas City Royals – left fielder Alex Gordon, first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez – have won American League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
The three Rawlings Gold Glove winners are the most in team history and mark the first time since 1989 that Kansas City has had multiple honorees. The Royals’ three Rawlings Gold Glove winners were tied for the Major League lead with the Baltimore Orioles’ three selections.
The awards were voted on by American League managers and coaches and honor the best individual fielding performances at each position in the American and National Leagues. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar were named finalists for the award last Friday.
Gordon became the first Royal to win three-straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards since second baseman Frank White won six-straight, from 1977-82. Alex joins Amos Otis (1971, 1973-74) as the only Royals outfielders to win three awards. Gordon tied for the Major League lead with 17 outfield assists, after finishing second in 2012 and leading MLB with 20 assists in 2011. His 54 assists since the start of 2011 are the most in the Majors, 16 more than the next-closest active outfielder (Torii Hunter). He led American League left fielders in games (160), innings (1364.1), total chances (341) and putouts (323), while committing just one error for a .997 fielding percentage. Gordon, a former third baseman, earned his first career Rawlings Gold Glove in 2011, his first full season in the outfield.
Hosmer became the first Kansas City first baseman to be honored with a Rawlings Gold Glove, and first Royals infielder to be honored since Mark Grudzielanek (2B) in 2006.
A finalist for a Gold Glove in 2012, Hosmer earned the award after leading American League first sackers in games played (158) and assists (122), while finishing second in innings (1372.1), total chances (1,335) and putouts (1,205). His .994 fielding percentage ranked fourth among the league’s first basemen with at least 1200 chances.
Perez is just the second Royals’ catcher to be honored with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, joining Bob Boone in 1989. Named an All-Star for the first time in his career, Perez led American League catchers with a Royals’ record 71 assists as well as 23 base runners caught stealing, while his 35.2 caught stealing percentage ranked second among qualifying catchers. Perez also ranked second among A.L. backstops in games (137), innings (1115.1), total chances (1,008), putouts (930). He was also charged with just three passed balls, the fewest among American League catchers with at least 100 games behind the plate.
Gordon, Hosmer and Perez give the Royals 23 Rawlings Gold Gloves honorees in franchise history, while Hosmer and Perez become the 11th and 12th different players honored. Gordon earned the ninth Gold Glove given to a Kansas City outfielder (fifth different outfielder).
Below is a list of the 23 Royals’ Rawlings Gold Glove winners:
1971 – Amos Otis (OF)
1973 – Amos Otis (OF)
1974 – Amos Otis (OF)
1977 – Al Cowens (OF), Frank White (2B)
1978 – Frank White (2B)
1979 – Frank White (2B)
1980 – Frank White (2B), Willie Wilson (OF)
1981 – Frank White (2B)
1982 – Frank White (2B)
1985 – George Brett (3B)
1986 – Frank White (2B)
1987 – Frank White (2B)
1989 – Bob Boone (C), Bret Saberhagen (P)
2000 – Jermaine Dye (OF)
2006 – Mark Grudzielanek (2B)
2011 – Alex Gordon (LF)
2012 – Alex Gordon (LF)
2013 – Alex Gordon (LF), Eric Hosmer (1B), Salvador Perez (C)
For the first time in its 57-year history, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its new collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The SABR Defensive Index comprised of approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.
Voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™ presented by SABR began at the conclusion of the awards show at www.rawlings.com, allowing the general public to weigh in as to who is “The Finest in the Field®” in both the American League and National League. A combination of the international fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine who takes home the honor of each League’s top defensive player. The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award