The St. Louis Cardinals have six finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, an award intended to honor “the best individual fielding performances at each position in the American League and National League”. With one of, if not the the, best defensive teams in the league this season, it should not really be a surprise the Cardinals have so many finalists. It is the most of any team, the next most being the Royals with four. To celebrate this (historic? Rawlings began listing finalists in 2011 and I do not believe the Cardinals have ever had as many as six before) achievement, here are some of my favorite plays by the finalists.
To start things off I think we have to go with this double play, where every player to touch the ball has been a Gold Glove finalist (Paul Goldschmidt to Yadier Molina to Nolan Arenano to Tommy Edman to Molina again to Harrison Bader to Paul DeJong — a Gold Glove finalist in 2019).
Catcher Yadier Molina, nine Gold Gloves
Yadi has been around the block and as the innings pile up runners may find themselves more tempted to run. The ancient commandant remains, though: Thou shalt not run on Yadier Molina.
First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt, three Gold Gloves
Goldschmidt makes a lot of tough plays look easy. I think part of why the infield is so good is because he scoops pretty much any throw in his direction. I chose this play that highlights the routineness of Goldy making a key play with the game tied and the winning run on third.
Second Baseman, Tommy Edman
Tommy Edman can play almost anywhere and does it with an admirable level of competence. Second base is where he truly shined though and on one of the toughest stages: the Wild Card Play-In game
Third Baseman, Nolan Arenado, eight Gold Gloves
When it comes to making great plays Arenado is practically in a class of his own. It is hard to pick from so many great ones, but I like this one because it shows both his quickness on the stop and his incredible arm strength on throw (and it also displays what I mentioned earlier about Goldschmidt with a great pick).
Leftfielder, Tyler O’Neill, one Gold Glove
O’Neill has a lot of stellar catches and great throws — some better than the one I picked. Something about this one though made me think of it right away. I think it has to do with the context and just how excited everyone was to see it — the Cardinals ripping victory from the jaws of defeat in the ninth inning.
Centerfielder, Harrison Bader
Considering Harrison Bader has been arguably the best defensive centerfielder for at least three seasons now, the fact that he does not have a Gold Glove is surprising. He too has made several great plays, but none that came immediately to mind for me. I picked this one because he had to run in, dive, and it kept the Cubs from scoring.
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