ST. PETERSBURG -- Prior to Saturday night's extra-innings 3-2 win over the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field, Kevin Kiermaier received his second consecutive Rawlings American League Gold Glove Award during a pregame ceremony.
"It's nice to be awarded with this beautiful, beautiful Gold Glove trophy," said Kiermaier, who also won Gold and Platinum gloves in 2015. "I've been fortunate to win it the past couple of years, so we'll see what happens from here on out."
Appropriately, the first 15,000 fans through the gate received a Kevin Kiermaier Gold Glove bobblehead.
Rays manager Kevin Cash offered his usual praise of the Rays center fielder.
"He's the best," Cash said. "There's no doubt about it in my mind. And, obviously with a lot of other people who have votes. He changes a game defensively. There's a handful of players who can do that. He does it it seems more often than anybody."
Despite playing in just 105 games last season due to injuries, Kiermaier still managed to win the award that he most covets. He acknoweldged that last year's award might have meant more than the first one.
"I missed 50-something games and the managers and coaches have the majority of the vote, and they still voted me over everyone else given I had the least games played among all the candidates," Kiermaier said. "...It just kind of speaks volumes about what other people around the game think about my game on the defensive side. That really means a lot."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.