Catcher Ivan Rodriguez and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro have been selected as 1999 recipients of Rawlings Gold Gloves in the American League, it was announced today by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company.
Rodriguez won his eighth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove, the second most ever for a catcher behind the ten received by Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench from 1968-77. Rodriguez, who has won each year since 1992, had been tied for second at seven Gold Gloves with Bob Boone.
Despite appearing in just 28 games at first base in 1999, Palmeiro was selected for the third consecutive season, the first time in history that a Rangers’ first baseman has received that honor.
It is just the fifth time in team history that Texas has had two Rawlings Gold Glove winners in the same season, joining 1977 (Jim Sundberg, c; Juan Beniquez, of) and 1979, 1980, and 1981 (Sundberg, c; Buddy Bell, 3b).
Rodriguez led major league catchers in starts (141) and ranked second among American League backstops in putouts (850), assists (83), total chances (940), and double plays (13). He had just one passed ball, fewest among all qualifying major league catchers, and fielded .993 (7 errors). Rodriguez threw out 39 of 72 runners attempting to steal, a 54.2% success rate that led the majors for the fifth straight year and was the highest figure since statistics were first kept in 1989. He also had ten pickoffs and has thrown out 46.9% (332 of 722) of runners trying to steal in his career.
Offensively, Rodriguez set an American League record for a catcher with 35 homers while establishing career highs with a .332 average and 113 rbi. He also had 25 stolen bases to become the first catcher in major league history with both 20 home runs and steals in one season.
Palmeiro had a .996 (1 e/275 tc) in his 28 games/starts at first in 1999. Only three other A.L. first baseman had the same or a higher fielding percentage and started more games. Palmeiro, who led the A.L. with 159 games at first base in 1998, spent the majority of 1999 as a designated hitter while recovering from a pair of arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee in February and March.
In his first year back with the Rangers since 1993, Palmeiro batted .324 and ranked second in the American League with 47 home runs, 148 rbi, 356 total bases, and a .630 slugging percentage.
|1999 AL Gold Glove Winners|
|OF||Ken Griffey, Jr.||Mariners||10||1990-1999|
|OF||Shawn Green||Blue Jays||1||1999|