Gardner wins first career Gold Glove Award

Last Yankees outfielder to be honored was Williams in 2000

Gardner wins first career Gold Glove Award

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have known for years that Brett Gardner brings above-average defensive ability to the field on a nightly basis, and now that has been acknowledged in physical form with the veteran's first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Gardner was named Tuesday as the American League's top defender in left field, becoming the first Yankees outfielder to win a Gold Glove Award since Bernie Williams won four in a row from 1997-2000.

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The 33-year-old Gardner ranked second in the AL with a .989 fielding percentage and 249 putouts, trailing Alex Gordon of the Royals (.991) and Justin Upton of the Tigers (253), respectively.

According to Fangraphs, Gardner led the Majors with 86 plays made out of his zone (OOZ). Upton was the next-closest AL left fielder, with 75. Gardner also ranked second in the AL with 12 Defensive Runs Saved, trailing the Astros' Colby Rasmus (14), and was third in the AL with nine assists.

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Just the eighth Yankees outfielder to win a Gold Glove since the award's inception in 1957, Gardner is the first Yankee to win the award at any position since Mark Teixeira (first base) and Robinson Cano (second base) in 2012.

Gardner batted .261/.351/.362 with 22 doubles, six triples, seven homers, 41 RBIs and 16 steals in 148 games this past season, his ninth with the Yankees.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.