Martin Wins a Gold Glove

Dodger catcher Russell Martin won the Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award, honoring the best defensive players at each position. Martin, 24, earned his first Gold Glove Award and became the fourth Dodger catcher to take home the award since Charles Johnson was honored as the National League's best backstop in 1998. John Roseboro won in 1961 and 1966.

In his second Major League campaign, Martin led all Major League catchers with 145 games played, 1,254.0 innings caught and 1,065 putouts.

Additionally, his 7.64 putouts per nine innings ratio, 0.61 assists per nine innings ratio and 11 double plays were all National League bests in 2007 and his 3.95 catcher's ERA was the fourth-best mark in the league. Martin threw out 29.7 percent of runners attempting to steal against him, the fourth-highest percentage in the National League.

He led all Major League catchers with 145 games caught, posted a 3.95 catcher's ERA -- good for fourth-best in the league. He threw out 30 percent of potential opposing base stealers and picked two runners off base. He was charged with 14 errors and five passed balls.

The 24-year-old native Canadian was a 17th-round Draft pick in 2002 as a third baseman and was converted to catcher the following year. Offensively, Martin hit .288 with 19 homers and 87 RBIs.

Martin was voted by fans as the starting catcher in the 2007 All-Star Game, becoming the first Dodger catcher to start the Midsummer Classic since Mike Piazza in 1997. Additionally, Dodger uniformed personnel elected Martin as the winner of the second annual Roy Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.

Other honors Martin received this season included winning the Dodgers' Heart & Hustle Award (chosen by the MLB Players Alumni Association), a nomination for the Hank Aaron Award (which recognizes the best offensive performer from each league) and was named to the Sporting News National League All-Star team after the season.

In addition to his fielding accolades, Martin led all National League catchers in hits (157), homers (19), runs (87), stolen bases (21), batting average (.297), on-base percentage (.380) and slugging percentage (.477). His 21 stolen bases led all Major League catchers and surpassed Con Daily's Dodger franchise record (18) set in 1892. Martin also became the first big league catcher to hit 15 homers and steal 20 bases in a season since Ivan Rodriguez in 1999.

The National League squad includes five first-time winners: Martin, Mets third baseman David Wright, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur and Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand. Francoeur and Rowand finished tied in the voting.

And of course, Greg Maddux, now with the Padres, won his 17th gold glove, setting a new record. He has won seventeen of the last 17 seasons. The list:
 P - Greg Maddux, Padres
 C - Russell Martin, Los Angeles
1B - Derrek Lee, Chicago
2B - Orlando Hudson, Arizona
3B - David Wright, New York
SS - Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia
OF - Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta
OF - Andruw Jones, Atlanta
Of - Aaron Rowand, Philadelphia
In 1957, the award's initial season, Gil Hodges won the first of his three gloves. He also won in 1958 and 1959. Hodges started a trend of Dodger first base Gold Glove winners, including six straight for Wes Parker 1967-72 and four straight awards for Garvey 1974-77.

Center fielder Willie Davis was a three-time award winner. Shortstop Maury Wills won twice as did Roseboro, pitcher Andy Messersmith and right fielder Raul Mondesi. A Dodgers third baseman has never won a Gold Glove despite the sustained brilliance of Adrian Beltré during his 1998-2004 tour of duty with the Dodgers, although he won his first award this year while playing for the Mariners.
The complete of Dodger winners:

2007 - Russell Martin, C
2006 - Greg Maddux, P
2004 - Steve Finley, OF
2004 - Cesar Izturis, SS
1998 - Charles Johnson, C
1997 - Raul Mondesi, OF
1995 - Raul Mondesi, OF
1988 - Orel Hershiser, P
1986 - Fernando Valenzuela, P
1981 - Dusty Baker, OF
1978 - Davey Lopes, 2B
1977 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1976 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1975 - Andy Messersmith, P
1975- -Steve Garvey, 1B
1974 - Andy Messersmith, P
1974 - Steve Garvey, 1B
1973 - Willie Davis, OF
1972 - Wes Parker, 1B
1972 - Willie Davis, OF
1971 - Willie Davis, OF
1971 - Wes Parker, 1B
1970 - Wes Parker, 1B
1969 - Wes Parker, 1B
1968 - Wes Parker, 1B
1967 - Wes Parker, 1B
1966 - John Roseboro, C
1962 - Maury Wills, SS
1961 - Maury Wills, SS
1961 - John Roseboro, C
1960 - Wally Moon, OF
1959 - Charlie Neal, 2B
1959 - Gil Hodges, 1B
1958 - Gil Hodges, 1B
1957 - Gil Hodges, 1B

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