The 2010 AL Gold Glove winners list is out, and Ichiro Suzuki is on it for the 10th straight season. The AL record for Gold Gloves by an outfielder is now held by Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Al Kaline with 10 each. It is made even more remarkable when you note that Ichiro has won the Gold Glove every single season he has been in Major League Baseball. In 2010 he anchored right field for another great Seattle Mariners outfield, one that was over-shadowed by the lack of offense that ultimately crushed the hopes of Seattle Mariners fans yet again.
Ichiro’s teammate Franklin Gutierrez won the Gold Glove as well, coming off of a great season patrolling center field for the mariners. The other outfielder to win a Gold Glove this season was Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Carl Crawford, who now has another accolade to add to his free agent bidding this offseason. The price for Crawford may have just gone up another notch, something that the New York Yankees didn’t want to hear in an offseason where they are now expected to spend a small fortune on not just their own free agents, but several players to accentuate their roster.
Three of the American League Gold Glove winners were New York Yankees, with first baseman Mark Teixeira, second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Derek Jeter all winning. Evan Longoria from Tampa Bay won the Gold Glove at third base, catcher Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins won, and Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle also won. There are a number of selections in this group that are going to be debated, especially with the announcement that a much slower, but far more efficient Jeter has won the award yet again. Whether Jeter deserves to win or not, he did lead American League shortstops in fielding percentage.
According to ESPN, the most consecutive Gold Gloves won by a player in Major League Baseball history is 12. Both Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays each won 12 straight Gold Gloves in the National League during their careers, and then Andrew Jones won 10 straight during his time with the Atlanta Braves. As Ichiro gets up there in years, you can’t help but wonder how many he can still win in his career, but with the way he is keeping himself in baseball shape, it would be foolish to put anything past him.
For those fans who are curious about how the Gold Gloves are decided, managers and coaches from all the teams vote on the players.