DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez became the first Rockies players since 2004 to earn National League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, it was announced Wednesday.Tulowitzki, 26, and Gonzalez, 25, were chosen through voting by NL managers and coaches for the best defensive player at each infield position, catcher and pitcher, and the best three outfielders. Tulowitzki broke a three-year run by the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins, who missed nearly half the season with injuries. Gonzalez won his first NL batting crown this year, but also impressed voters with his glove. Gonzalez takes home the Gold Glove in the same year in which he won the NL batting title. Earlier this offseason, peers voted for Gonzalez as the Major League's Most Outstanding Player in the Players Choice Awards.
The last Rockies Gold Glove winner was Todd Helton, who won for the third time at first base in 2004. Tulowitzki also is the first Rockies shortstop to receive the trophy since Neifi Perez in 2000. Helton (three times), outfielder Larry Walker (five times), Perez, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez are the only players in club history to receive the award.Even before Wednesday's announcement, Tulowitzki thought the trophy would look nice at the home of his father, Ken Tulowitzki. "I owe a lot to him, no doubt about it," Tulowitzki said. "I'm sure he has a little mantel where he keeps a whole bunch of stuff. I'll probably keep it at his house." Gonzalez was obtained from the Athletics in the post-2008 trade that sent star outfielder Matt Holliday to the Athletics. Gonzalez began gaining notice with his strong finish to the 2009 season and in the playoffs, and he followed that up with an even better year in 2010.
Purple and Gold
|Todd Helton||1B||2001, '02, '04|
|Larry Walker||OF||1997-99, 2001, '02|
NL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
|C||Yadier Molina, Cardinals||3|
|1B||Albert Pujols, Cardinals||2|
|2B||Brandon Phillips, Reds||2|
|3B||Scott Rolen, Reds||8|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies||1|
|OF||Michael Bourn, Astros||2|
|OF||Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies||1|
|OF||Shane Victorino, Phillies||3|
|P||Bronson Arroyo, Reds||1|
In 2010, Tulowitzki led NL shortstops in fielding percentage (.984), double plays (103), total chances per nine innings (5.15) and putouts per nine innings (1.78).
Gonzalez was as versatile as he was spectacular in the outfield. He played 55 games in center, 51 games in left and 34 games in right and had an outfield assist from each position.He finished tied for ninth in the NL with eight outfield assists and had the second-best fielding percentage in the NL among outfielders, with a .996 mark. Tulowitzki and Gonzalez have ascended to leadership roles among the Rockies. Gonzalez, who lives in Venezuela, said they will keep setting the example. "We don't want to feel like this is good enough," Gonzalez said. "But we didn't get what we want, which is to play in the postseason. That's the way you have to think. You have to try to get better. If you feel comfortable, you get stuck." This is likely not the end of the awards for Tulowitzki and Gonzalez. They're both prime candidates to receive Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards, which will be announced Thursday.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.