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Jeter, Wells win first Gold Gloves

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who helped
revitalize the Detroit Tigers this season, on Tuesday earned his
11th Rawlings Gold Glove award, breaking the record for backstops held
by Johnny Bench.

It was the first Gold Glove honor in three years for Rodriguez,
who won 10 straight for the Texas Rangers from 1992-2001.
Anaheim's Bengie Molina ended Rodriguez's streak in 2002 and
repeated last year when Rodriguez helped lead the
Florida Marlins to the World Series title. The Cardinals' Mike Matheny won the NL's Gold Glove at catcher in 2003.

Rodriguez signed with the Tigers as a free agent in the
offseason and helped lead them to a 72-90 record -- a 29-game
improvement from the previous season, when Detroit lost an
American League-record 119 games.

Rodriguez is the first Detroit player to win a Gold Glove since
Gary Pettis in 1989 and the first Tigers catcher to earn the
honor since Lance Parrish in 1985.

Among the other American League recipients were a pair of
first-time winners -- shortstop Derek Jeter of the
New York Yankees and center fielder Vernon Wells of the
Toronto Blue Jays.

"I take pride in my defense, and I work hard each year to
improve in the field," Jeter said in a statement issued by the
Yankees. "There are a number of fantastic defensive shortstops in
the American League -- too many to count -- and to be recognized with
the Gold Glove makes it that much more of a special accomplishment.
I also want to thank our pitching staff for having so many of our
opponents hit balls in my direction."

Some baseball analysts have said Jeter has less range than
Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Miguel Tejada.

"Derek Jeter is a great, inspired leader and captain," Yankees
owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. "He certainly
deserves this honor."

Jeter is the first Yankees shortstop to win the Gold Glove.

Completing the outfield selections were right fielder
Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and center fielder Torii Hunter
of the Minnesota Twins, who each won for the fourth time. Ichiro has won the Gold Glove in each of his big-league seasons.

Other infield winners were Anaheim Angels first baseman
Darin Erstad, Seattle Mariners second baseman Bret Boone and
Oakland Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez.

Boone and Chavez also won their fourth Gold Gloves and joined
Hunter and Ichiro as repeat winners. Boone has won at second base for three consecutive seasons.

Erstad claimed his first
Gold Glove as a first baseman after winning two as an
outfielder. He's the first player to win Gold Gloves at both positions.

The pitching award went to Texas Rangers right-hander
Kenny Rogers, who turns 40 on Nov. 10. Rogers captured his third Gold Glove.

"I'm not the same guy I was in the years past," he said.

"There's a lot of things physically I could do that I can't do
now," he said.

Despite his age, Rogers had 65 total chances, third in the AL
behind Jake Westbrook (76) and Mark Buehrle (71).

"Shortstops and second basemen over the years have complained I
go after balls that are hit right to them," Rogers said.

Rodriguez and Erstad both earned $100,000 bonuses, while
Boone, Chavez, Rogers, Suzuki and Wells each earned $50,000, and
Hunter $25,000.

The National League Gold Glove winners will be announced
Wednesday.

Information from SportsTicker, The Associated Press and ESPN Research was used in this report.