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Nine first-time winners highlight Gold Gloves

Nine first-time winners highlight Gold Gloves

Nine first-time winners highlight Gold Gloves
A season's worth of highlight-reel plays and steady hands were honored Tuesday evening, as winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced.

The Gold Glove Awards are given annually for the best individual fielding performances at each position in the National and American Leagues, as voted by managers and coaches.

There was plenty of fresh blood among this year's honorees. Nine players won their first Gold Gloves, and the Dodgers and Red Sox were the most decorated clubs with three Gold Glovers each.

For catchers, St. Louis' Yadier Molina won his fourth straight NL Gold Glove, while Baltimore's Matt Wieters won the AL Gold Glove for backstops, becoming the first Orioles catcher to do so.

AL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
The American League winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, with the number of Gold Gloves each has won.
POS. PLAYER NO.
C Matt Wieters, Orioles 1
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox 3
2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2
3B Adrian Beltre, Rangers 3
SS Erick Aybar, Angels 1
LF Alex Gordon, Royals 1
CF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 1
RF Nick Markakis, Orioles 1
P Mark Buehrle, White Sox 3

The two pitching awards were handed out to a pair of left-handers, as White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle won the AL Gold Glove for the third consecutive year. He is the first pitcher in White Sox history to win three Gold Glove Awards and the first Sox player to garner three straight honors since Robin Ventura from 1991-93.

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, also one of the favorites for the NL Cy Young Award, was the NL winner.

"It's awesome, I didn't expect to win an award like this," Kershaw said in an interview on the announcement show on ESPN. "To look and see your name with guys like Greg Maddux, who won it (18) years, it's pretty special."

Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez -- the NL Gold Glove winner in 2008 and 2009 -- unseated New York's Mark Teixeira, the two-time reigning winner, for his first AL Gold Glove and the third of his career.

Gonzalez's teammate, Dustin Pedroia, also won the AL Gold Glove at second base. It was Pedroia's second award, the other coming in 2008.

"It feels great. It's pretty awesome that Dustin won it, as well," Gonzalez said on ESPN. "It's fun playing alongside him and we had great communication this year. It's pretty special to win one in both leagues now. I'm pretty grateful to everyone who voted for me."

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips also won his third Gold Glove in four years, while teammate Joey Votto earned his first career NL Gold Glove at first base.

"It just shows that my hard work really paid off and managers, they love they way I play," Phillips said.

NL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
The National League winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, with the number of Gold Gloves each has won.
POS. PLAYER NO.
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals 4
1B Joey Votto, Reds 1
2B Brandon Phillips, Reds 3
3B Placido Polanco, Phillies 3
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 2
LF Gerardo Parra, D-backs 1
CF Matt Kemp, Dodgers 2
RF Andre Ethier, Dodgers 1
P Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 1

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki won his second consecutive award after leading all NL shortstops in fielding percentage.

The AL third-base winner also was a familiar face, as Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre won his third career Gold Glove. Beltre's previous awards came in 2007 and 2008 while with Seattle.

Two others added to their Gold Glove collections: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp won his second award, with the previous coming in 2009, while Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco won his third Gold Glove, his first at the hot corner. He previously won the AL Gold Glove at second base in 2007 and 2009.

The AL outfield winners were all first-timers, as Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis were honored. Gordon's Gold Glove came in his first season as an outfielder, during which he led AL outfielders with 20 assists, while Markakis completed the first error-free season of 150-or-more games by an outfielder in franchise history.

Elsewhere in the AL, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar unseated Yankees captain Derek Jeter -- winner in five of the last seven years -- for his first career award. Aybar, who turned 102 double plays in 2011, is only the third Angels shortstop to win the award.

The NL outfield also saw two first-time winners, as D-backs left fielder Gerardo Parra and Dodgersright fielder Andre Ethier were honored. Parra committed only two errors in 281 total chances, with 12 assists in 125 games (117 starts) in left field.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["awards" ] }
{"content":["awards" ] }