Oct. 31, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball greats Mark Teixeira and Matt Wieters were honored Tuesday night by Major League Baseball as winners of 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove awards. A member of the Yankees, Teixeira claimed his fifth career Gold Glove, while the Orioles’ Wieters picked up his second in as many seasons.
The award is presented annually to the best defensive player at each position in both the American and National League.
Three Yellow Jackets have now won a total of eight Gold Gloves, as Teixeira and Wieters join former Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who won it in 2005. Current Tech head coach Danny Hall, who is entering his 20th season at Georgia Tech in 2013, coached all three.
Wieters, who was a 2012 All-Star, led the league in defensive games (134) and putouts (994), ranked second in runners caught stealing (32) and range factor per game (7.81) and was third in caught stealing percentage (38.6). His 994 putouts were the third most in AL history for a catcher.
“It’s a huge honor and something to where it’s great to be thought of defensively as one of the best catchers out there,” said Wieters, who is the only Orioles catcher to receive a Gold Glove. “To win it back-to-back is a great honor. I take a lot of pride in my defense and in working hard and getting better, and I think what we were able to do this season showed we were able to do that.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter refereed to Wieters this season as the best catcher he’s ever coached.
It is the fifth Gold Glove Award for Teixeira at first base, and his third as a member of the Yankees.
In 2012, Teixeira led qualifying Major League first basemen with a career-best .999 fielding percentage, committing just one error in 1,055 total chances during the regular season. It marked the best single season fielding percentage by any Major League first baseman over the last three seasons (2010-12) and the 11th best single-season mark at first base in the modern era (since 1900).
Teixeira’s .999 fielding percentage also established the Yankees franchise record at his position, surpassing Don Mattingly’s .998 in 1994 (two errors in 989 total chances).
“I am honored to accept the Gold Glove Award and appreciate the recognition for my defense,” Teixeira said. “There are a lot of great first basemen in the American League and I will continue to work hard to stay on top of my game defensively.”