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NL Gold Glove Awards


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They flashed leather, pulled off web gems, picked it, got their uniforms dirty, and stoked stadiums with razor-sharp routes, dazzling dives and wall-scraping wows. They're the 2009 National League winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, announced on Wednesday.

At first base, San Diego Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez repeated his 2008 crown by tying for fourth in the league with a fielding percentage of .995. Gonzalez made only seven errors in 1,367 total chances in the midst of his second straight All-Star campaign.

The second base Gold Glove returned to the possession of Orlando Hudson, the Dodgers veteran who won Senior Circuit hardware in 2006 and 2007 while with the D-backs after earning one in the American League while with the Blue Jays in '05. The "O-Dog" was stingy in the field again in 2009, making eight errors in 692 chances for the highest fielding percentage (.988) of his career.

In the category of the extremely expected, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins took home the award for a third straight season after compiling a Major League-best .990 fielding percentage for the repeating NL champions.

At the hot corner, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman completed one of the most well-rounded individual seasons in baseball by winning his first Gold Glove, Zimmerman, who made his first All-Star team and batted .292 with 33 home runs and 106 RBIs, also led all NL third basemen in assists, total chances, total outs recorded and games started.

In the NL outfield, center fielder Shane Victorino of the Phillies made his second straight Gold Glove team. The native of Hawaii rode a wave of momentum in another sterling defensive campaign in which he made his first All-Star team. He made only one error in 345 chances a year after making two in 323 chances. That was good for a fielding percentage of .997.

Houston's speedy Michael Bourn had a breakout year offensively and defensively, and the latter skill was recognized Wednesday with this youngster's first Gold Glove. Bourn excited the Minute Maid Park crowd all season with diving plays, had 11 assists and a .992 fielding percentage.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' young slugger Matt Kemp also took home his first Gold Glove, getting love for his 14 outfield assists, which ranked second in the league, and for making only two errors in 393 chances (.995).

Behind the plate sits another repeater, and it's no surprise around the baseball world. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina seized his second straight Gold Glove after making only five errors in 971 total chances (.995), throwing out 40.7 percent of would-be basestealers and compiling a 3.48 catcher's ERA. He ranked first among all Major League catchers, according to The Fielding Bible.

Adam Wainwright has a good chance at the NL Cy Young Award, but first he'll have to make room in his trophy room for a Gold Glove. The big right-hander, who threw a league-high 233 innings, didn't make a single error in 56 chances and nabbed the first pitcher's Gold Glove in the AGM (After Greg Maddux) era.

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