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Ichiro Suzuki and Adrian Beltre win American League Gold Glove Awards11/06/2007 6:16 PM ET
SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and third baseman Adrian Beltre have been selected to the 2007 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Team, announced today by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company and Major League Baseball. The award marks the seventh consecutive Gold Glove for Ichiro and the first for Beltre.
"There are not two players out there who deserve to win Gold Gloves more than Ichiro and Adrian," said Mariners manager John McLaren. "To see the amount of preparation and dedication they put into their defense is truly special. I couldn't be happier for Adrian. I said it all year and I'll say it again, in my mind there is not a better third baseman in the game today."
Ichiro, 34, has won a Gold Glove in each of his first seven Major League seasons. In 2007, he led all Major League outfielders with a .998 fielding percentage, making just one error in 433 total chances (424 putouts, 8 assists) in his 155 starts in center field. He set the club record for fielding percentage by an outfielder, breaking the old record of .997 done three previous times, including by himself during his rookie season in 2001.
In 1,093 games since 2001, Ichiro's .994 fielding percentage is the highest among Major League outfielders who have played in more than 500 games. He has made 15 errors in 2,628 career chances with 67 outfield assists. Ichiro also won seven consecutive Gold Glove Awards while playing for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan.
Beltre, 28, becomes the first third baseman in club history to win a Gold Glove. Among AL third baseman he ranked in the top three in the league in total chances per 9.0 innings (1st, 3.00), putouts per 9.0 innings (2nd, 0.85) and assists per 9.0 innings (3rd, 2.02).
"Nobody got to more balls and made better plays at his position than Adrian Beltre," added McLaren. "The kinds of plays that he makes at third base are ones that simply don't show up in the box score, he's the best at what he does and now he has a Gold Glove to prove it."
Today's announcement extends the streak of a Mariners defender winning a Gold Glove to 21 consecutive seasons, the longest current streak in the Majors. Atlanta has the next longest streak at 16 consecutive years. Seattle's streak dates back to 1987, when pitcher Mark Langston became the first Mariner ever to win a Gold Glove. The Mariners have now had at least two Gold Glove winners in the same season nine times, and first since Ichiro and Bret Boone (2B) in 2004.
Seattle's .985 fielding percentage in 2007 was fifth in the American League and seventh-best in club history. The Mariners committed 90 errors (6,049 chances).
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award is presented annually to 18 players, one for each position, in both the American and National Leagues. Winners are chosen by Major League managers and coaches. Here's a look at the complete AL Team, as announced by Major League Baseball and Rawlings:
The 2007 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Team:
P-Johan Santana, Minnesota
The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were first awarded in 1957 to one player at each position for the entire Major Leagues. Since '58, the award has been presented annually to nine players in both the American and National Leagues.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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