11/13/2002 5:07 pm ET
Four Cardinals win Gold Gloves
Rolen, Vina, Edmonds and Renteria get awards
By Matthew Leach and Jared Hoffman / MLB.com
There hasn't been this much gold in St. Louis since 1963.
On Thursday, it was announced four Cardinals -- third baseman Scott Rolen, shortstop Edgar Renteria, second baseman Fernando Vina and outfielder Jim Edmonds -- have won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards as the best defensive players at their positions.
The only other time the Cardinals have had four players win Gold Gloves was in 1963 when pitcher Bobby Shantz, first baseman Bill White, third baseman Ken Boyer and outfielder Curt Flood all won. The Cardinals haven't had more than two players win Gold Gloves in the same season since 1968 when pitcher Bob Gibson, shortstop Dal Maxvill and Curt Flood each won.
Rolen and Renteria also won Silver Sluggers this season, making it the only time the Cardinals have had two players win a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in the same sason.
Rolen, acquired by the Cardinals from Philadelphia in late July, was honored for the fourth time in five years and became the first Cardinals third baseman to win a Gold Glove since Terry Pendleton in 1989. Edmonds notched his fifth Gold Glove in six years, including one in each of his three years in the NL. It was the second consecutive Gold Glove for Vina, and the first for Renteria.
Rolen was something of a slam dunk to win the award, as he is by acclamation the best third baseman in the league. He led the loop in range factor, total chances and assists, rated second in double plays and zone rating and was third in putouts. He's the complete defensive third baseman, with quickness, range, sure hands and a tremendous arm. Superb defensive plays by Rolen bookended the Cardinals' division-clinching win over the Astros in late September.
Edmonds is known as one of the most entertaining defensive players in the league, with a flashy style that's made for SportsCenter. But he also gets to plenty of balls, as evidenced by a range factor that led regular NL center fielders. His 11 assists tied for the most among the league's center fielders. Edmonds dealt with revolving doors to both sides of him, as no one made even 110 starts in left or right field for St. Louis.
Perhaps the Cardinal who takes the most pride in his defense is Vina. The sparkplug second baseman treasured the Gold Glove he won in 2001, rating it as more important to him than any of his offensive accomplishments. And while his offense fell off a bit in 2002, he kept the same standard up in the field. No one is better at turning the double play than Vina, who is the only second baseman in Cardinals history to win a Gold Glove.
It was a breakthrough season in every way for Renteria, who put up career numbers offensively and played a strong shortstop. He ranked in the middle of the pack by most statistical measures, but his steadiness was a great asset in what was quite possibly the league's best defensive infield. He becomes the first Cardinals shortstop to win a Gold Glove since Ozzie Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in July.
Matthew Leach is a reporter and Jared Hoffman is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.