Defense. It’s the heart of the game and the heart of Rawlings. Since its creation in 1957, The Rawlings Gold Glove Award? has been the benchmark by which all defense is measured.
Over the past 60 years, the award has been bestowed on some of the game’s greatest defensive players: Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson, Johnny Bench, Ozzie Smith, Derek Jeter and Yadier Molina, just to name a few. Today, the award remains the highest symbol of defensive excellence and ultimately determines who is, “The Finest in the Field?”!
In its first year, only nine professional players received the award. Beginning in 1958, eighteen total players received the honor, one for each position, in both the National and American Leagues.
In 2007, in conjunction with the award’s 50th Anniversary, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award program expanded to recognize athletes at the collegiate and high school levels. Nine awards are now given to each division in the NCAA (1,2,3), the NJCAA (1,2,3), NAIA, as well as high school athletes from around the country.
Just a few years later in 2011, the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award?, was established. This award recognizes the singular best defender in both the American and National Leagues and incorporates a fan voting element.
The storied history of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has inspired a new class of athletes to attempt jaw-breaking plays and acrobatic snags in the dirt; all in the hopes of taking home the gold. More than 60 years later, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award remains the game’s greatest measure of defensive excellence and its legacy is sure to live on for years to come.