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The Rawlings Gold Glove Award (1957-) - Given to One Player at Each Position for Outstanding Defense


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9 hours ago, MC Horoscope said:

Gold Glove votes are notorious. It seems that once you win one you win it again for the next 10 years. The voters seem to be lazy about looking at the facts. It's just not done as carefully as voting for Cy Young or MVP, as far as I can tell. You won't see Anthony Rendon, for instance, getting one any time soon though he should be in the discussion at third base in the NL.

Couldn't you say, though, that unlike hitting - and to a lesser degree, pitching - defense is more of a "lone-wolf skill" that can show up each year? All three skills are, of course, but hitting is *so* fickle that anyone might emerge and have a career year (or conversely, go into a two-month slump). The same holds true with pitching, albeit to a lesser degree: You're up against a different batter each time - plus, there are a myriad of pitching injuries. The ability to field and throw a ball doesn't change as much, because it's less dependent on opposing players, and more dependent on skills that you've acquired over time.

I'm not saying this quite right, because obviously, hitting and pitching are acquired "over time" also - what I'm really trying to say is that fielding and throwing are more independent of your opponents, and may lend themselves more towards multiple awards in a row, because you're not thinking about Randy Johnson pitching behind your head, Kirby Puckett up with the bases loaded, etc.

I'd make a comparison with Pete Maravich dribbling a basketball - he was possibly the best ball-handler and dribbler every single year he was in the NBA (of course, they don't give awards for dribbling a basketball). I may be wrong (I actually just now thought of this), but it seems like fielding and throwing are more independent of other people's intervention than hitting and pitching.

Note also: The judges consist exclusively of managers and coaches; not sportswriters, and as of 2013, a Sabermetrics component accounts for 25% of the tally as well.

(*) MC Horoscope: Note the third paragraph of that article, which supports what you say about "lazy voters."


The Gold Glove Award should be named after Brooks Robinson, who won 16 of them in a row. Robinson just turned 80 years old this month - sigh, I wish they'd do it now.

Until there is adequate video to show people how great Brooks Robinson was, day-after-day, year-after-year, all people will have is largely anecdotal evidence - I have not once, for example, seen video of him fielding a bunt, which he did in many games (remember, scoring was *much* lower before 1968, and teams bunted a lot - pitchers bunted all the time), and the way he charged, made a barehanded pickup (sometimes supported by his glove), and threw at 4'o'clock, all in one motion, was pure poetry. "Grounders to shortstop" were often intercepted by Robinson, who cut to his left, and fielded the ball perhaps ten feet in front of where Mark Belanger would have, which also gave Robinson momentum towards first base when he threw - he did this *all the time*. People who watched Brooks Robinson play are now at least in their 50s, and will eventually no longer be around - I'm going to do my part to make sure people in the future remember just how amazing a defensive player he was: He was so good that he changed the strategies of opposing teams.

Truth be told, I'm just as amazed at some of the things Andrelton Simmons does (Manny Machado also), but it's called the Cy Young Award; not the Greg Maddux Award - plus, all games were played on natural grass which made it more difficult.

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I would gladly support naming it the Brooks Robinson award! That's far more appropriate than the Cy Young award!

In general one's skill at fielding will be rather consistent from year to year, but it can also improve over time or get worse due to injury or inattention for whatever reason. There's also the fact that competitors at your position retire while great new players come into the picture, so you wouldn't think the same player would win the gold glove so many years in a row.

BTW, I'd include Maravich in the list of great passers! He could pull off some crazy stuff like unbelievable fakes. If you were on his team you had to pay close attention!

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