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Rodriguez wins AL Gold Glove
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11/04/2003  7:57 PM ET 
Rodriguez wins AL Gold Glove
Shortstop wins award for second consecutive year
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Alex Rodriguez committed just eight errors and posted a career-high .989 fielding percentage. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
ARLINGTON -- Leave it to Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez to make sporting Silver and Gold more noble than gaudy.

For the second consecutive season, Rodriguez was honored with a Gold Glove award, the second of his career, as the best fielding player at his position in the American League as selected by Major League coaches and managers before the conclusion of the regular season. Managers and coaches were not allowed to select players from their own club and could only vote for players in their own league.

He was awarded his seventh career Silver Slugger Award for his offensive prowess last week.

2003 Gold Glove winners
 C Bengie Molina, ANA
1B John Olerud, SEA
2B Bret Boone, SEA
3B Eric Chavez, OAK
SS Alex Rodriguez, TEX
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
OF Mike Cameron, SEA
OF Torii Hunter, MIN
P Mike Mussina, NYY
C Mike Matheny, STL
1B Derrek Lee, FLA
2B Luis Castillo, FLA
3B Scott Rolen, STL
SS Edgar Renteria, STL
OF Andruw Jones, ATL
OF Jose Cruz Jr., SF
OF Jim Edmonds, STL
P Mike Hampton, ATL

"It's obviously very special," Rodriguez said. "I am honored and very flattered. It is something I work very hard at. Sometimes you get overlooked when you are an offensive player and put up offensive numbers. I take great pride in this award. I think it brings validity to the first one. I think anytime you back something up, it's not a coincidence. It's something more factual."

Rodriguez, who committed eight errors in 699 chances, posted a career-high .989 fielding percentage, tops among AL shortstops and the best in club history. He finished third in the American League in total chances, putouts with 227, and assists with 464. He tied with Kansas City's Angel Berroa behind Oakland's Miguel Tejada for second in games started with 158 and combined with second baseman Michael Young to lead the American League in double plays with 111.

The eight errors were the fewest ever for a Texas shortstop who qualified for the award.

At the conclusion of the 2002 season, Rodriguez became the first shortstop in Rangers history to win a Gold Glove ending Omar Vizquel's nine-year reign as the AL's Gold Glove shortstop. The last AL shortstop other than Rodriguez or Vizquel to win the award was Cal Ripken in 1992.

Offensively, Rodriguez led the American League in home runs with 47, runs with 124 and a .600 slugging percentage to join an elite group. Only four other players -- Mickey Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski, Albert Belle and Ken Griffey Jr. -- have led the AL in home runs, runs and slugging percentage.

He finished second in the American League in RBIs with 118 in 2003 and was among the leaders in total bases, extra-base hits, walks and on-base percentage.

    Alex Rodriguez   /   3B
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
Yankees site

In addition to the Silver Slugger award, Rodriguez also won his third consecutive Hank Aaron Award as the best offensive player in the American League and was named the recipient of both the Oscar Charleston and the Josh Gibson Legacy Awards from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at the conclusion of the 2003 season.

"In October, you want to be playing baseball. Winning awards is a testament to the hard work and dedication you put into the game," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully we will get some team awards as well as  individual ones."

The American League Most Valuable Player will be announced next week. Rodriguez, who finished second to Tejada last season, is not preoccupied with winning the award.

"That's an award that I have pretty much given up on," he said. "If I finished second or third for 10 to 15 years, that has to be equivalent to one. As long as I'm in the top 10 and in the mix. It's a testament to my hard work and dedication."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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