San Diego Padres: Team Gold Glove History as Myers Seeks to Join
As Wil Myers seeks to become to eleventh Gold Glove winner in San Diego Padres’ history, it is an ideal time to look back at the first ten winners.
The San Diego Padres have a decent history when it comes to Gold Glove Award winners. Since their inception in 1969. the team has had ten players who won the award, including some who earned it multiple times.
As first baseman Wil Myers looks to be the eleventh, it is a perfect time to reflect on the previous ten. The following is a very quick recap to remind fans who each of the previous winners were.
The most recent winner was third baseman Chase Headley, who took home the hardware in 2012. In the outstanding season, the former Padre posted a .976 fielding percentage, committing just ten errors in 159 games at the position. Headley, who spent eight seasons with the Padres, is currently still playing for the New York Yankees.
One of the better Padres’ defenders ever was Adrian Gonzalez, who won the Gold Glove Award for the first base position in 2008 and 2009. Gonzalez committed just 13 errors in 317 games in the two seasons combined. His fielding percentage in both years was .996.
Greg Maddux and Mike Cameron also won the award in consecutive seasons, Cameron in 2006 and Maddux in 2007. Cameron won as a spectacular outfielder, and Maddux as one of the best defensive pitchers in the game. Fans remember Cameron’s sensational grabs very well, fond memories from an 88-74 season.
Ken Caminiti was one of the more beloved Padres ever, and will go down in team history forever for being one of the ten Gold Glove Award winners. Playing third base, Caminiti’s defense helped spark a team which was on its way to a World Series in 1998. Caminiti won the award three consecutive years from 1995 to 1997, as he is tied for the longest streak in San Diego franchise history.
Steve Finely is another well known winner. Finely won an outfield Gold Glove Award two consecutive years, in 1995 and ’96. The veteran put forth excellent defensive stats, including a .980 combined fielding percentage in the two award winning seasons. More memorably though were Finley’s 15 outfield assists and his flashy play.
Of course, as good as Tony Gwynn was at the plate, he is also known almost equally as much for his glove and arm in the outfield. Gwynn won a total of five Gold Glove Awards, the most in San Diego history. The all-time great, who spent each of his twenty seasons with the Padres, won the award in 1986 and ’87, as well as 1989-1991. These six seasons in which he won five Gold Glove Awards were some of the most magical of his decorated career due to his excellence defensively.
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Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield were the first two San Diego winners of Gold Glove Awards. Smith, who is known around baseball for his dominant shortstop play for the St. Louis Cardinals, spent his first four seasons with San Diego. Though he was young, he managed to win the award twice in 1980 and in ’81 with a total of just 40 errors in the two seasons. Following 1981, Smith moved on to St. Louis and made his career one for the ages.
Winfield was the first ever winner for San Diego in 1979. and won the award again in 1980, the only year in franchise history with two Gold Glove winners. The versatility of Winfield defensively was most impressive, as well as his .986 fielding percentage in the outfield in ’79 and ’80. Winfield went on to have a very successful career with the New York Yankees, but is held in high regard for his time with the Padres.
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Now, Myers looks to become the 11th winner in San Diego history. If he does accomplish this feat, he will join some of the great Padres of all time in a prestigious group of Gold Glove Award winners.