The 2016 MLB season may be over, but Yankee Universe is celebrating a big win last night! Congratulations to Brett Gardner for winning his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award!
After 9 seasons in the majors, Gardner is one of 9 first-time winners to be named among the best of baseball’s defensive players for 2016. Gardner had some tough competiton, but beat out fellow nominees Alex Gordon (Royals) and Colby Rasmus (Astros). This makes Gardy the first Yankee to win a Gold Glove since Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano in 2012, and the first Yankee win for an outfielder since Bernie Williams in 2000. He joins four other Yankee legends- Mantle, Maris, Winfield, and Mercer- who also received a Gold Glove Award. Not bad company for a kid from Holly Hill, South Carolina who began his college career as a walk-on player and wound up as an All-American by his senior year. A sign of great things to come.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award originated in the 1950s when a Rawlings sales manager noticed that the majority of ballplayers were using their brand of gloves. An idea was born to honor “the finest in the field”, a term that Rawlings coined and copyrighted to reward excellence on the ball field. The selection process for the Gold Glove Award has evolved over the decades, and currently, nominees are chosen by team managers and coaches with input from the SABR Defensive Index (SDI).
Brett Gardner, a homegrown Yankee, continues to be one of NYY’s most productive players. It’s understandable why Gardy is a fan favorite since he continues to persevere at the plate, makes stellar plays on the field, or steals bases with his lightning speed. In 2016, Gardner had 249 putouts and was second in fielding percentage. Always ready to chase down fly balls wherever they may be, Gardner was second in the AL in defensive runs saved, third in assists, and first in plays made outside his zone. His sliding catches, those seemingly impossible mid-air leaps to snag a ball for the out, and those powerhouse throws from the outfield are consistent and impressive.
His focus and his staying power may have something to do with his work ethic. The day he was called up to the Yankees in 2008, Gardner shared that the “hard part is not to get to the big leagues, it’s to stay in the big leagues”. I’d say that Brett Gardner has had a bit of success with that! Nine seasons with the New York Yankees. The currently longest tenured player in pinstripes. Last year, an All-Star. And now, a Gold Glove winner. All good things for this Yankee veteran.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award ceremony will be this Friday, November 11. Yankee fans now have the opportunity to cast your vote here for Brett Gardner as the best overall defensive player in the American League in the contest for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award to be announced this Friday, November 11. We’re looking forward to 2017 with our #11 in the outfield!
And the holiday season is upon us, and many families will be separated from loved ones serving our country. So what do the Yankees do? They once again partnered with the USO to send thousands of holiday care packages to active duty troops serving across the world. Volunteers from Disney, Delta, FedEx, and Metlife join with the NYC community, Yankee team members and veterans, and the Yankee family, including broadcasters, Suzyn Waldman and David Cone, today Wednesday at Yankee Stadium in the Great Hall to assemble the packages.
Thanks to all of you who have donated and/or are volunteering to exhibit the giving spirit of the season to those far from home. You are amazing!