Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Platform Expands to Include Super Utility Players
Utility Role to be Recognized Alongside Position Player Awards in American™ and National™ Leagues
ST. LOUIS, MO – Sept. 14, 2022 – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. (Rawlings), the Official Base, Baseball, Helmet, Face Guard and Glove of Major League Baseball®, has added utility players to the list of annual Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients for the first time since the Award’s inception in 1957. One super utility player will be recognized in both the American and National Leagues, joining the 18 position players receiving Awards (nine from each League). The 2022 class of Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, including those at the utility position, will be unveiled during a one-hour, special-edition ESPN2 broadcast airing Tuesday Nov. 8th at 10:30 pm ET hosted by Karl Ravech, the voice of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and the primary host of the Emmy-Award winning “Baseball Tonight” television show, also on ESPN.
“We’re thrilled to add a Rawlings Gold Glove Award that recognizes players with the superior defensive ability to play multiple positions,” said Mike Thompson, chief marketing officer for Rawlings. “Utility players are some of the most versatile athletes you’ll see on the field, and it’s time for them to be rewarded for their tremendous defense, alongside position players.”
To determine the utility Award winners, Rawlings collaborated with SABR to create a specialized defensive formula separate from the traditional selection process for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award position winners. Utilizing the SABR formula and additional defensive statistics, Rawlings will select one utility winner from each League. For the remaining 18 defensive position Awards, each team’s manager and up to six coaches on his staff will vote from a pool of qualified players in their League and cannot vote for players from their own team. In 2013, Rawlings added the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI) to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, which comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers’ and coaches’ votes continuing to carry the majority.
“The Society for American Baseball Research is proud to contribute valuable statistical data to assist in the naming of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners each year, and to continuously evolve the program to ensure it remains the greatest measure of defense for years to come,” said Scott Bush, chief executive officer of SABR. “Recognizing utility players for their defensive prowess demonstrates how timely, relevant and authentic the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are at the professional level of play.”
The finalists for the 2022 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be named on Thursday Nov. 3rd prior to the Award winners being announced on Tuesday Nov. 8th.