Grudzielanek wins first Gold Glove award

Updated: November 2, 2006, 6:25 PM ET
SportsTicker

NEW YORK -- The American League unveiled a familiar list of Gold Glove winners. The lone exception was a 36-year-old second baseman.

Mark Grudzielanek of the Kansas City Royals became just the second position player to win his first Gold Glove at 36 or older, joining Wade Boggs of the New York Yankees in 1994.

Otherwise, the AL Gold Glove winners announced on Thursday featured the usual suspects - catcher Ivan Rodriguez and pitcher Kenny Rogers of the Detroit Tigers, third baseman Eric Chavez of the Oakland Athletics and outfielders Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins.

The Gold Glove honors fielding excellence in voting by AL managers and coaches.

Rodriguez increased his record total of Gold Gloves for catchers to 12, two more than Johnny Bench. Rodriguez won nine straight from 1992-2001 and another in 2004 - his first year with the Tigers.

The 41-year-old Rogers was honored for the fifth time overall, including the last three years.

Chavez, Suzuki and Hunter each received the award for the sixth straight year.

"It's always very satisfying," Chavez said. "I struggled at the plate this season because of injuries and could have missed at least six weeks, but I felt I was still making an impact defensively and that's important to me."

Shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, a candidate for the AL MVP award, and outfielder Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays received their third straight Gold Glove awards.

"It's great to be mentioned with the guys on this list," Wells said. "Torii and Ichiro are great outfielders, so it's great to be acknowledged with them."

First baseman Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers was honored for the second year in a row.

Grudzielanek signed with the Royals last December after spending his first 12 seasons in the National League. He was known for his ability to turn double plays effectively, but never won a Gold Glove in the NL.

However, this season, Grudzielanek committed just four errors, which is tied for the fewest by a second baseman in franchise history with eight-time Gold Glove winner Frank White in 1988 and Jose Lind in 1993.

Grudzielanek's season included a club record of 77 consecutive errorless games at second, surpassing the previous mark of 70 by White. Grudzielanek was also leading all major league second baseman in double plays with 111 before missing the final 11 games due to injury.

The National League Gold Glove winners will be announced Friday.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index