TCN St. Louis Cardinals 2021 Top Story #7: Record-Setting Five Gold Gloves

photo: Nolan Arenado (St. Louis Cardinals)

The winners of the 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced on November 7 and the St. Louis Cardinals made Major League Baseball history with five of the nine National League winners. The Gold Glove Award is given annually to the best defensive player at each of the nine positions in each league.

The Cardinals’ five winners are Paul Goldschmidt at first base, Tommy Edman at second, Nolan Arenado at third, Tyler O’Neill in left field and Harrison Bader in center field. The five winners in one season is the most by any team in MLB history. Also, Yadier Molina finished among the top three catchers, losing out to Pittsburgh’s Jacob Stallings.

Paul Goldschmidt

Arenado’s ninth consecutive Gold Glove is his first as a Cardinal. Goldschmidt won his first since 2017, his fourth Gold Glove overall and first as a Cardinal. The last Cardinal first baseman to receive the award was Albert Pujols in 2010.

Nolan Arenado

O’Neill was a back-to-back winner, having taken the left field honors in 2020. He is the first Cardinal with consecutive awards since Jim Edmonds received six straight from 2000-2005.

Tyler O’Neill

The award is the first for both Edman and Bader, though the latter finished among the top three at his position in 2019. O’Neill and Bader are the first pair of outfielders to win in the same season in franchise history.

Harrison Bader

Bader led all players in the NL in the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), with a 14.4 SDI score, which comprises 25% of the Gold Glove vote. He is the first Cardinals center fielder to win the award since Jim Edmonds in 2005.

Tommy Edman

Edman is only the third second baseman in Cardinals’ history to win the Gold Glove. He beat out former teammate and current Milwaukee Brewer Kolten Wong, who won it the past two seasons as a Cardinal.

The Cardinals as a team led all 30 major league teams in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with 86.

Arenado followed up with the 2021 National League Platinum Glove Award, announced on November 12. The winner was determined by a combination of a fan vote and the SDI. It is the third baseman’s fifth consecutive Platinum Glove after he won every year from 2017-2020 with the Rockies.

Finally, it should be no surprise that with five individual winners and the best defender in the league, the Cardinals also received the NL Gold Glove Team Award for 2021, which honors the best defensive team in each league.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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