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DOMINICAN PRESENCE – Golden Glove

LThe last time a Dominican won a Gold Glove award was in 2017, it was won by Marcell Ozuna in the National League as a left fielder for the Marlins.

This award was instituted in 1957 with the sponsorship of the commercial firm Rawlings, manufacturers of sporting goods that have one of the most prestigious baseball gloves in their baseball gloves. The idea is to distinguish the best defenders at each position in the game. In a sport in which both defensive and offensive skills must be mastered at the same time, this initiative was very valuable. In this way, the importance of the defensive part in the game began to be recognized, before, most analysts concentrated on weighing the offense and pitching, dodging the guard.

Initially, those who elected were the managers and coaches, according to their criteria, with the exception that they could not vote for players belonging to their team; but as of 2011, the results offered by modern metrics have been combined with the discernment of coaches.

The first Dominican to win a Gold Glove was Cesar Cedeño in 1972 as center fielder for the Houston Astros. Since then, a Creole has received that recognition in each of the positions of the game. The only pitcher to have won it was Joaquín Andújar in 1984 with the Cardinals. Likewise, Tony Peña is the only receiver, distinguished four times. Carlos Peña and Albert Pujols received him in the initial and Luis Castillo, Robinson Cano and Plácido Polanco in the middle. The latter also won it as third baseman, the only case in history to obtain it in two positions in the infield, with Adrián Beltré being another recognized, five times, in that position; like Manny Machado on two occasions.

Alfredo Griffin, Tony Fernández, Alex Rodríguez and Erick Aybar are the Dominican shortstop winners of this award and in the woods they have been singled out: as left fielders, Starling Marte and Ozuna, in center, as well as Cedeño, César Gerónimo, Carlos Gómez and Juan Lagares and finally in the right forest Raúl Mondesí.