Hardy, Jones, Wieters win Gold Glove Awards

I will have quotes and reactions up later tonight on Orioles.com, but here is a quick look at Baltimore’s trio of Rawlings Glove Glove Award winners in shortstop J. J. Hardy, centerfielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters.

The news came as part of a televised unveiling on ESPN 2, with the  Orioles having a Major League-leading three winners, with the Yankees the only other team to have multiple selections. The Glove Glove Award –given for defensive excellence — is the first of Hardy’s career and is the second for Jones (also in 2009) and Wieters, who has now won in back-to-back seasons.

Hardy’s first career Gold Glove comes after a season in which he led AL shortstops in games (158), fielding percentage  (.922), putouts (244), assists (529), range factor per game (4.89), defensive wins above replacement (2.8) and total zone runs (21). He made just six errors in 779 chances at the position, and his .992 fielding percentage was the highest mark by an AL shortstop since Mike Bordick’s .998 for the Orioles in 2002.

This season marks the second straight year Hardy has lead the league in fielding percentage and range factor per game at his position. Additionally Hardy’s 529 assists were the most by an AL shortstop since Cal Ripken, Jr. had 531 for the Orioles in 1989. He is the fourth Orioles shortstop to win a Gold Glove, joining Luis Aparicio (1964 and ’66), Mark Belanger (1969, ’71, ’73-’78) and Ripken (1991 and ’92).

Jones, named the Most Valuable Oriole by members of the local media, led AL centerfielders in games (162) and putouts (439), ranking second in range factor per game (2.75) and third in assists (7). He is one of three Orioles outfielders who have won Gold Glove Awards, with Paul Blair winning in 1967 and 1969-75 and Nick Markakis earned the selection last season.

Wieters, who joined Jones at this year’s All-Star Game, led the league in defensive games (134) and putouts (994), ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and range factor per game (7.81) and was third in caught stealing percentage (38.6%). His 994 putouts were the third-most in AL history for a catcher and the most since Jorge Posada had 996 for the Yankees in 2001. Wieters is the only Orioles catcher to receive a Gold Glove.

It is the 18th season the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same year, and their most since 1998 when second baseman Roberto Alomar, pitcher Mike Mussina and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro all took home the honors. It is the ninth time in club history the Orioles have had at least three players win a Gold Glove in the same season (also 1998, ’76, ’75, ’74, ’73, ’71, ’70 and ’69).

Sixteen different Orioles players have earned a total of 64 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, second-most in the American League, one fewer than the New York Yankees (65) and 22 more than the next-closest AL team, the Minnesota Twins (42).

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