Alex Gordon wins eighth career Gold Glove Award

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Alex Gordon is going out as a Gold Glover.

Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced Tuesday that Alex Gordon, who recently wrapped up a 14-year career with the Kansas City Royals has earned his eighth career Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Gordon was also honored as the top left fielder in the American League by Rawlings from 2011-14 and 2017-19, making this the fourth consecutive year in which he won the award.

Gordon, who announced his retirement in September, is the third position player in major league history to win the award in his final season, according to Sportradar, joining outfielder Roberto Clemente and first baseman Wes Parker, both of whom won in 1972.

Gordon was one of three finalists for the Gold Glove Award among American League outfielders, joining Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Houston’s Kyle Tucker.

Kansas City now has 36 Gold Gloves by 13 different players in its 52-year history, and Gordon’s eight match Frank White (1977-82, ’86-87) for the most by any Royals player. Dating back to 2011, the Royals have won a Major League-best 18 Gold Glove Awards and are the only American League team with at least one winner in each of the last 10 seasons (since 2011), trailing only Colorado’s streak of 11 straight seasons (2010-20) among Major League teams.

Since the award was established in 1957, Gordon’s eight Rawlings Gold Gloves match Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Jim Edmonds, Paul Blair, Dwight Evans and Garry Maddox for eighth most among outfielders, trailing only Clemente (12), Willie Mays (12), Ken Griffey Jr. (10), Andruw Jones (10), Al Kaline (10) Ichiro Suzuki (10) and Torii Hunter (9). Gordon is one of two players — and the only outfielder — to win eight Rawlings Gold Gloves in the 10-year stretch from 2011-20, joining Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who has won eight straight from 2013-20. Gordon is the only player to be named a finalist each year since 2011, when Rawlings began highlighting the top three defenders at each position.

Gordon, who was named the Rawlings Platinum Glove winner in 2014, had a Major League-most 102 outfield assists from 2010-20, a total that trails only Amos Otis (116) in Royals history. He led the majors with a career-high 20 outfield assists in 2011 — his first full-time season as an outfielder — a mark that has not been topped by any player in nine seasons since.

Gordon was charged with only 15 outfield errors in 2,731 total chances from 2011-20, and his .995 fielding percentage during that time ranked second in the majors (min. 2,000 chances), trailing only Nick Markakis (.996). Gordon made just one error in 500 chances over his last 273 games in the outfield from June 25, 2018 through his final game on Sept. 27, 2020, the only miscue coming on May 18, 2019 at the Angels, when his errant throw allowed a base runner to advance. He was perfect in his final 152 games in the field (299 total chances).

Due to the condensed 2020 season, the award qualifications were amended to rely solely on the SABR Defensive Index, which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. Historically, the awards were voted on by managers and coaches from the American and National Leagues, and the SABR Defensive Index comprised of approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total.

Royals second baseman Nicky Lopez was also a Gold Glove finalist, but the AL award for second basemen went to Cleveland’s César Hernández.