St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, the 2005 National League Most Valuable Player, has openly contended that he would not consider himself a complete player without a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Pujols today is complete, winning his first Rawlings Gold Glove.
On the other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux claimed his 16th Rawlings Gold Glove Award, tying Jim Kaat for the most Rawlings Gold Gloves won by a pitcher or any other fielder.
Rawlings, the Official Baseball Supplier to Major League Baseball and the No. 1 brand in baseball gloves, established the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1957 as the greatest measure of fielding excellence. The award is presented annually to 18 players – one for each position – in the American and National Leagues, selected by Major League coaches and managers prior to the conclusion of the regular season. Managers and coaches may not vote for players from their own club and only vote for players in their own league.
Pujols, who just helped the Cardinals to their first World Series championship in 24 years, is joined by teammate and third baseman Scott Rolen, who won his seventh Rawlings Gold Glove Award. San Francisco Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel won his 11th Rawlings Gold Glove, two shy of position leader and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran snagged his first Rawlings Gold Glove.
The complete National League lineup:
Greg Maddux (16) Los Angeles DodgersTM P Brad Ausmus (3) Houston AstrosTM C Albert Pujols (1) St. Louis CardinalsTM 1B Orlando Hudson (2) Arizona DiamondbacksTM 2B Scott Rolen (7) St. Louis CardinalsTM 3B Omar Vizquel (11) San Francisco GiantsTM SS Andruw Jones (9) Atlanta BravesTM OF Carlos Beltran (1) New York MetsTM OF Mike Cameron (3) San Diego PadresTM OF
The American League winners were revealed Thursday:
Kenny Rogers (5) Detroit TigersTM P Ivan Rodriguez (12) Detroit TigersTM C Mark Teixeira (2) Texas RangersTM 1B Mark Grudzielanek (1) Kansas City RoyalsTM 2B Eric Chavez (6) Oakland AthleticsTM 3B Derek Jeter (3) New York YankeesTM SS Ichiro Suzuki (6) Seattle MarinersTM OF Torii Hunter (6) Minnesota TwinsTM OF Vernon Wells (3) Toronto Blue JaysTM OF
The 2006 teams kick off a year-long celebration of the Rawlings Gold Glove AwardÒ during which Rawlings will challenge America to select the all-time Rawlings Gold Glove Golden Anniversary team: the greatest fielder at each position.
A panel of Major League Baseball historians and experts – including those who played the game, managed the game, governed the game, and reported on the game – will set the initial ballot of 50 players. Beginning in spring training 2007, fans will vote through mobile devices, at retail, and online, including www.rawlingsgoldglove.com. The all time Rawlings Gold Glove Golden Anniversary Team will be revealed mid-summer.
As part of the celebration, Rawlings also plans to honor the original 1957 Rawlings Gold Glove team: Bobby Shantz (P), Sherm Lollar (C), Gil Hodges (1B), Nellie Fox (2B), Roy McMillan (SS), Frank Malzone (3B), Minnie Minoso (OF), Al Kaline (OF), Willie Mays (OF).