Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney tonight was awarded the 2012 National League Rawlings Gold Glove for defensive excellence at his position, the first Gold Glove of his career and the first by a Cubs second baseman in 21 years.
Barney is the first Cubs player to win a Rawlings Gold Glove since first baseman Derrek Lee in 2007 and the first Cubs second baseman to win the award since Ryne Sandberg capped a nine-year run in 1991. Barney is only the fourth second baseman in franchise history to win the award, joining Sandberg (1983-91), Glenn Beckert (1968) and Ken Hubbs (1962).
In just his second full season in the big leagues, Barney led all major league second basemen with a .997 fielding percentage this season, committing only two errors in 731 total chances covering 1,270.1 innings. He played more games at second base (155) and had more total chances per nine innings (5.18) than anyone else in the majors. Additionally, his +3.6 defensive win above replacement rating led all National League players at any position and tied Seattle’s Branden Ryan for the major league lead.
Barney tied the single-season major league record by playing 141-consecutive games at second base without an error, first done by Detroit’s Placido Polanco in 2007. Barney shattered both the multi-season and single-season National League marks for consecutive errorless games by a second baseman, previously held by Ryne Sandberg (123 games from 1989-1990) and David Eckstein (113 games in 2010), respectively. Barney’s 141-game run spanned 1,154.1 innings and 676 total chances.
For the first time, Rawlings will also award a Platinum Gold Glove to the single best fielder in each league. The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™ fan vote begins tonight at www.rawlings.com, allowing fans to weigh in as to who is “The Finest in the Field®” in each league. To determine the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners, fans can only select one player among the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners from each league.
The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony on Friday, November 9, 2012 in New York City, where Barney will attend and formally receive his Gold Glove.