BALTIMORE (AP) — Three members of the Baltimore Orioles have won American League Gold Glove Awards for their defensive prowess this season: center fielder Adam Jones, catcher Matt Wieters and shortstop J.J. Hardy.
The trio helped the Orioles reached the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. It’s the first Gold Glove for Hardy and the second for Jones and Wieters.
“We’re so proud of these guys,” manager Buck Showalter said. “When you look at the consistency of these three guys — the number of games they played and the level that they held themselves to every night out there — not only did they make us better, but they made their teammates better.”
The awards were announced Tuesday night. Baltimore was the only team to earn as many as three Gold Gloves and was one of only two clubs, along with the New York Yankees, to have more than one player selected.
Hardy led AL shortstops in games (158), fielding percentage (.992), putouts (244) and assists (529). He made only six errors in 779 chances, and his fielding percentage was the highest by an AL shortstop since Mike Bordick in 2002.
“It means a lot to me. It’s definitely an award I always hoped to get and never really expected to get. I’m surprised and honored at the same time,” Hardy said. “It’s definitely an award I’ve seen a lot of shortstops get that are really flashy and kind of catch the eye of a lot of people. I don’t look at myself that way. I kind of look at myself as just trying to be consistent and steady. I never felt like people noticed.”
Showalter noticed, and mentioned it after almost every game.
“I happen to think J.J.’s substance is his style,” the manager said. “I consider him to be very stylish. Maybe flashy isn’t the word, but he can do things that other people can’t do.”
Wieters also received a Gold Glove last season. This year, he led AL catchers in defensive games (134) and putouts (994). He ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and was third in caught stealing percentage (38.6 percent).
Jones, who won the award in 2009, led AL center fielders in games (162) and putouts (439) and was third in assists (7).
“To play the number of games that these three guys played, and to maintain that level of defensive skill and contributing every night regardless of what they do with the bat, it’s something I made a lot of notes on mentally and physically,” Showalter said. “To me it’s glaring how good they are at what they do, and how hard it is to do what they do every night.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)