ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. today announced that they will once again honor Minor League players at each of the nine fielding positions for defensive excellence. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® recipients at the Minor League level will be selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.
"Winning a Rawlings Gold Glove Award is one of the most prestigious honors a player can have bestowed upon them," Minor League Baseball president, Pat O'Conner, said. "We are proud to partner with our longtime friends at Rawlings in recognizing Minor League players for their outstanding defensive play."
"Defense is the cornerstone of the Rawlings brand, and we could not be more excited to introduce Minor League athletes into the exclusive legion of Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners," said Mike Thompson, Rawlings senior vice president of marketing. "Our longstanding partnership with Minor League Baseball enables us to celebrate defense at every elite level of play."
The St. Louis, Mo., based company named a Minor League all-star fielding team on the basis of official fielding averages for several years in the 1960s. Recipients of the Rawlings Silver Glove Award, as it was known at the time, include Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson and longtime Baltimore Orioles shortstop Mark Belanger. Anderson was selected in 1963, when he played second base for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the International League. Belanger, who played all but one of his 18 Major League seasons with Baltimore, was the shortstop on the 1966 Rawlings Minor League team, thanks to his play with the International League's Rochester Red Wings.
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods in the United States. Since the company's inception in 1887, Rawlings' mission has always centered on developing and producing innovative, high-performance equipment and protective apparel for the professional player. With an assortment of baseball, basketball, football and softball game-related product lines, Rawlings is present everywhere team sports are played. Leagues and conferences of all skill levels integrate Rawlings' unparalleled product portfolio into their sports: as the Official Baseball and Official Helmet to Major League Baseball®, the official baseball for the NCAA®, the official football for the NAIA®, the official basketball for the NAIA, NJCAA® and AAU®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®.
For more information, please visit rawlings.com or Rawlings' Facebook page, or call (314) 819-2800.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.