Cub fans know that one bright spot this season was the stellar defense of second baseman Darwin Barney. The rest of the league agrees.
Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards tonight, and the winner for the National League at second base was Darwin Barney of the Cubs. Barney beat out three-time winner Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds and Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the award given to the top defensive player at each position.
Barney is the Cubs first Gold Glove Award winner since Derrek Lee in 2007 and their first second baseman to win the Gold Glove since Ryne Sandberg in 1991.
Barney broke the National League record and tied a major league record with 141 consecutive errorless games this season. He led the major leagues in both fielding percentage and putouts for second baseman. He also led in games played at second base. But beyond all that steady glovework came some spectacular plays that regularly put him on the highlight reels of Baseball Tonight on ESPN and MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch on the MLB Network.
Plays like this one:
Or this one:
And don't forget this one:
Going through Barney's defensive video highlights, I saw so many plays where he made a sliding stop to his left and spun and threw to first base for the out that those spectacular plays began to seem routine to me. But they were not anywhere near routine.
So congratulations to Barney and may this be the first of many Gold Gloves to display in your den.