Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia named Gold Glove winners

BOSTON, MA-Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox have been selected as center fielder, first baseman and second baseman, respectively, on the 2011 American League Gold Glove Team, as announced tonight on ESPN2 by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company. The voting was conducted by American League managers and coaches.

This marks just the third time that three Red Sox players have won Gold Gloves in the same year, a feat previously accomplished by Boston in 1968 (George Scott, 1B; Reggie Smith, OF; Carl Yastrzemski, OF) and 1979 (Rick Burleson, SS; Dwight Evans, OF; Fred Lynn, OF). The last time multiple Boston players earned Gold Gloves in a season was 1990, when Mike Boddicker (P) and Ellis Burks (OF) were selected. The Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were the only teams with three Gold Glove winners in 2011.

Ellsbury is the first Red Sox outfielder to earn a Gold Glove since Ellis Burks in 1990. This was the first year since 1960 that specific outfield positions were awarded Gold Gloves rather than grouping all outfielders into one pool of candidates. Previous Red Sox to win Gold Gloves as the club's center fielder include Jimmy Piersall (1958), Reggie Smith (1968), Fred Lynn (1975, 1978-80) and Burks (1990).

In 2011, Ellsbury became the first qualifying Red Sox outfielder to turn in an errorless campaign while serving as the club's primary center fielder. He was one of four qualifying Major League outfielders that did not commit an error and led that group with 394 total chances. His 1,358.1 innings in the field were the most by a Red Sox player at any position in an errorless season and the most ever by an AL center fielder in an errorless campaign. He led the American League in starts (152), innings and putouts (388) at center field and ranked second in the circuit in games (154) and total chances at the position.

Ellsbury has committed just two errors in his career and holds a .998 career fielding percentage (1,212 TC), the best ever mark by a Major League outfielder with at least 250 career games, 500 total chances or 2,000.0 innings. He is the first ever Red Sox to compile two errorless seasons as an outfielder (also 2008) and owns the two longest errorless streaks by an outfielder in team history, including a franchise-record 236 games and 588 chances since his last miscue on 7/28/09.

For Gonzalez, this is his third career Gold Glove Award and his first in the American League, having been named to the National League squad while with San Diego in 2008 and 2009. He is the third Red Sox first baseman to win a Gold Glove, joining George Scott (1967-68, 1971) and Kevin Youkilis (2007), and is the first player to win a Gold Glove at any position in his first season with the Red Sox.

"(Winning a 2011 Gold Glove) feels great," Gonzalez said tonight on ESPN2 during the awards ceremony. "It's pretty awesome hearing that Dustin won it as well. It's fun playing alongside him and we had great communication this year. It's pretty special that I've been able to win one in both leagues now. I'm very grateful for everyone that voted for me. It was a lot of fun playing defense this year." He added, "Playing defense is a very important part of playing and being a complete player, so I take a lot of pride in it."

Gonzalez finished second among AL first basemen last season with a .997 fielding percentage (4 E/1,351 TC), trailing only Tampa Bay's Casey Kotchman (.998), and led American League first sackers in games (156), starts (155), innings (1,352.2) and assists (125). It was the third-best fielding percentage at the position in team history after Stuffy McInnis (.999 in 1921) and Kevin Youkilis (1.000 in 2007). His four errors were the second fewest ever by a Red Sox first baseman who made at least 140 appearances at the position after McInnis' 1921 season (1 error).

For Pedroia this marks his second career Gold Glove, having also received the honor in 2008. He is the first Red Sox to win multiple Gold Gloves since 1985. The only other Red Sox ever to win the award as a second baseman was Doug Griffin in 1972.

Last season, Pedroia finished with a .990 fielding percentage, second among qualifying American League second baseman behind only Los Angeles' Howie Kendrick (.992). He made just seven errors in 722 total chances, including a span of 62 errorless contests from June 26-September 3, 11 shy of Bobby Doerr's single-season club record of 73 games from June 23-September 19, 1948.

Pedroia set single-season Red Sox records with 159 games and 1,392.1 innings as a second baseman last season, both of which led the AL, and he also topped the Majors with 158 starts at the position. Additionally, he ranked among AL leaders at second base in putouts (2nd, 290), total chances (3rd, 722), assists (3rd, 425) and double plays (4th, 81).

Boston's three Gold Glove Award winners in 2011 doubles the team's total over the last 20 years (beginning 1992), which had been limited to second baseman Dustin Pedroia (2008), first baseman Kevin Youkilis (2007) and catcher Jason Varitek (2005) prior to tonight's announcement.

In addition to Boston's 2011 Gold Glove winners, Youkilis was also a finalist at third base but lost out to Texas' Adrian Beltre.

Fans can vote for the first-ever Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winner, given to the top defender among the nine Rawlings Gold Glove winners in each league, at Rawlings Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rawlings) until 11 p.m. on Monday, November 7.

The 2011 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Team:
C-Matt Wieters, Baltimore
1B-Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
2B-Dustin Pedroia, Boston
SS-Erick Aybar, Los Angeles
3B-Adrian Beltre, Texas
LF-Alex Gordon, Kansas City
CF-Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
RF-Nick Markakis, Baltimore
P-Mark Buehrle, Chicago