BOSTON For the third time in team history -- and first since 1979 -- the Red Sox have three Gold Glove winners.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Dustin Pedroia all were honored at their respective positions. The winners were announced Tuesday night in a special awards show on ESPN2.
It was Ellsburys first time winning a Gold Glove, but the second honor hes been given for his remarkable 2011 season. (He was also named the American League Comeback Player of the Year.) Ellsbury made no errors in 394 chances over 154 games, the only qualifying center fielder to record a perfect fielding percentage, with six assists this season. Ellsburys UZR of 15.6 was tops among all qualified center fielders.
Pedroia won the second Gold Glove of his career, along with his MVP season of 2008. Although his seven errors were the most in his career, and his .990 fielding percentage matched the lowest of any of his full seasons (in 2007), it was second among qualifying AL second basemen, behind only the Angels Howard Kendricks .992. Pedroias UZR of 17.9 was tops among all qualified second basemen.
Gonzalez won his third Gold Glove, after winning in 2008 and 2009 with the Padres. His .997 fielding percentage (four errors, 1,351 chances) was the highest of his career, and second only to that of the Rays Casey Kotchman (.998, two errors, 1,201 chances) in the A.L. His UZR of 11.1 was the best among all qualified first baseman.
Gonzalez appeared on the live broadcast on ESPN2 as the awards were announced.
It feels great, Gonzalez said. Its pretty awesome hearing Dustin won, as well. Its pretty awesome playing alongside him. Being able to win in both leagues, Im pretty grateful to everyone who voted for me.
We try to cover the whole right side of the infield there and hopefully we can do it for many years to come.
"I try to be a complete player. You can always go into offensive slumps, but defense is something that should never leave you.
"I always say pitching and defense is whats going to win championships . . . I take a lot of pride in it."
The last time the Sox had three Gold Glove winners in one season was 1979, when center fielder Fred Lynn, right fielder Dwight Evans, and shortstop Rick Burleson all won. The Sox also had three Gold Glovers in 1968: First baseman George Scott, left fielder Carl Yastrzemski, and center fielder Reggie Smith.
Since Gold Gloves were first awarded in 1957, Evans is the all-time Sox leader with eight, while Yaz is second with seven.