Thursday, November 1, 2012

Darwin Barney wins the Gold Glove award

One of the brightest spots in a tough season this year for the Cubs was when the announcement came on Tuesday night that second baseman Darwin Barney won the NL Gold Glove award for his position.

Darwin Barney's 141-game errorless streak earned him the NL Gold Glove award at second base for 2012 (photo from Chicago Tribune)
Barney had an incredible season as he played in 141 error-free games and tied a Major League single-season record at second base, which had been set in 2007 by Placido Polanco.  Barney was just three outs away from setting a new record when he was charged with a throwing error in the eighth inning on September 28th against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Barney is the first Cub to win a Gold Glove since first baseman Derrek Lee in 2007.  He is also the first to win a Gold Glove at second base since Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg, or as some like to call him, "Ryno," won his ninth and final Gold Glove in 1991.

Ryno and Barney are well acquainted, as Sandberg was Barney's manager in the Minor Leagues for three seasons and had a big part in working with and training Barney for second base, since he originally played shortstop.  

"I'm extremely thrilled," Barney said.  "It's something you came into the season working towards, 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."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, "It goes without saying he's Gold Glove material.  I've been in the game 30 years, and I've never seen anyone play second base like [Barney] has."

Every Major League manager and up to six coaches on each staff helped determine the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glose Awards.  They chose from a pool of qualified players in their respective league and couldn't vote for players on their own team.

Even though Barney is thrilled about winning the award, he isn't letting it get to his head.  "From top to bottom, you have to continue to work on your routine plays and being consistent," he said.  "You know you're not going to run into a streak defensively every single year -- or I guess not very often at all.  You want to be as consistent as you can and keep working.  You can't be satisfied."

He also said, "Winning Gold Gloves doesn't satisfy me for the future.  It makes me proud of my season.  It makes me hungry to work and try to get another one someday.  It's been a long path.  It's a big accomplishment for me."

Darwin Barney shakes hands with teammates after scoring the winning run in the last game of the season on October 3rd (photo by Karen Burchell)
Congratulations to Darwin Barney - I'll always have a soft spot for you since meeting you in January of 2011, when you weren't even sure if you'd make the big league team out of spring training, but you were extremely nice and down to earth and I could tell you would soon make an impression in the baseball world!

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