Right-hander Jake Peavy started the day Tuesday by signing a two-year contract extension with the White Sox then capped it off by receiving his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award on a night full of first-time winners.
Peavy shared the American League pitching Gold Glove with Rays hurler Jeremy Hellickson, also a first-time recipient. The pair represented two of nine players who notched their first Gold Glove.
The other AL first-timers each came from the two surprise postseason teams on the Junior Circuit, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick.
2012 Gold glove winners
|POS||AL winner||NL winner|
|C||Matt Wieters, BAL||Yadier Molina, STL|
|1B||Mark Teixeira, NYY||Adam LaRoche, WAS|
|2B||Robinson Cano, NYY||Darwin Barney, CHC|
|SS||J.J. Hardy, BAL||Jimmy Rollins, PHI|
|3B||Adrian Beltre, TEX||Chase Headley, SD|
|LF||Alex Gordon, KC||Carlos Gonzalez, COL|
|CF||Adam Jones, BAL||Andrew McCutchen, PIT|
|RF||Josh Reddick, OAK||Jason Heyward, ATL|
|P||Jeremy Hellickson, TB
Jake Peavy, CWS
|Mark Buehrle, MIA|
"It means a lot to me, for one," Hardy said. "It's definitely an award I've always hoped to get, never really expected to do it, never really expected to get it. I'm surprised and honored at the same time."
The National League had five new Gold Glovers of its own.
In the infield, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and Padres third baseman Chase Headley all took home awards for their defensive prowess for the first time in their careers.
Barney finished the season with a .997 fielding percentage, tops among all NL second basemen and the highest in Cubs franchise history at the position.
"I'm extremely thrilled," said Barney, who beat out two worthy nominees, three-time winner Brandon Phillips of the Reds and Aaron Hill of the D-backs. "It's something you came into the season working toward but it's not something where I thought the results would be there as quickly as they were. I'm extremely happy about it. There's a lot of good competition. I'm really surprised it ended up happening for me. It's an exciting night for me."
Rounding out the first-time winners were Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Braves right fielder Jason Heyward.
Though the nine new winners were the most since 2008, there were also some familiar names that received hardware Tuesday night.
In fact, one of those newcomers in that 2008 campaign was Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who earned his fifth consecutive award Tuesday. Molina is the first NL catcher to win five straight Gold Gloves since the Reds' Johnny Bench won 10 straight from 1968-77.
"It's always such a great honor to win the Gold Glove award," Molina said. "It's something that you work hard for, and it's nice to be voted as a top player at your position."
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira also won his fifth career Gold Glove, as he and teammate Robinson Cano swept the AL awards on the right side of the infield.
"It's another dream come true for me," said Cano, who also won the award in 2010. "The Gold Glove is a special award because my defense is something I take a lot of pride in. There are a lot of ways you can contribute to a team win. It's not always about offense. Sometimes saving runs is as important as scoring runs."
A trio of players -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle -- each won a fourth Gold Glove. For Buehrle, the award marked his fourth consecutive Gold Glove after the southpaw won the AL version each of the previous three seasons with the White Sox.
Beltre, meanwhile, took home the AL honors for the second straight season and fourth in the last six years at the hot corner.
"I just love playing my position," Beltre said. "I love to play with the determination to make every play. I take my position as a challenge to make every play I can make."
The four remaining winners -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and a trio of outfielders, fellow Oriole Adam Jones, the Royals' Alex Gordon and the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez -- were each honored for the second time in their respective careers. Jones, who also won a Gold Glove in 2009, edged out 21-year-old Angels phenom Mike Trout among AL center fielders.
As for Gordon, he took home his second straight honor after winning the inaugural left field award last season, the first in which Gold Glove awards were handed out separately for each of the three outfield positions. He nabbed the award again this season behind his 17 outfield assists, leading all AL left fielders.
"Players always want to be consistent and produce well, so to win it again is a great honor and I'm very excited about it," Gordon said. "Hopefully I can keep being consistent in the outfield and keep bringing these Gold Gloves home. It's pretty cool."