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Mariners snag two Gold Glove Awards

Ichiro, Beltre snag Gold Gloves

SEATTLE -- Ichiro Suzuki, the Seattle Mariners center fielder, won his seventh straight Rawlings American League Gold Glove Award and is joined by Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre, who won his first.

"They are well-deserved, both of them,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said. "I feel especially good for [Beltre]. He has worked hard at it. He finally got his due. It's well overdue.''

Ichiro has won the award every year since he arrived from Japan as a free agent in 2001. That was the year he also won the MVP Award and the batting title. Only Ken Griffey Jr. has won more Gold Gloves for Seattle. He earned 10 straight from 1990-99.

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"I am very happy for this award, because it ties my accomplishment reached in Japan of seven straight Gold Gloves." Ichiro said.

Ichiro committed just one error all season -- on Sept. 12 against Oakland -- in 433 chances. That gave him a .998 fielding percentage, breaking Griffey's club record of .997 set in 1992. Ichiro had 424 putouts and eight assists.

Ichiro, who turned 34 last month, began his career with the Mariners as a right fielder. He moved to center on Aug. 19, 2006, and played the rest of the season there. He was the full-time center fielder in 2007.

"This is a special award for me, because I made the change from right field to center field." Ichiro said.

Ichiro has made just 15 errors in his seven big league seasons. Before coming to Seattle, he played nine seasons for the Orix Blue Wave, where he also won seven straight Gold Gloves.

"I think we've run out of adjectives when you talk about Ichiro,'' McLaren said.

Beltre, in his third season with the Mariners, committed 18 errors in 2007. He had 121 putouts and 287 assists. He has the reputation for the strongest arm among third baseman in the Major Leagues.

2007 Gold Glove winners
 C Ivan Rodriguez, DET
1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B Placido Polanco, DET
3B Adrian Beltre, SEA
SS Orlando Cabrera, LAA
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
OF Torii Hunter, MIN
OF Grady Sizemore, CLE
P Johan Santana, MIN
C Russell Martin, LAD
1B Derrek Lee, CHC
2B Orlando Hudson, ARI
3B David Wright, NYM
SS Jimmy Rollins, PHI
OF Carlos Beltran, NYM
OF Andruw Jones, ATL
OF Jeff Francoeur, ATL
OF Aaron Rowand, PHI
P Greg Maddux, SD

"He's got the best [arm],'' McLaren said. "He's athletic, strong, he has passion, he's a bulldog. He's the complete package.''

"It means a lot to me and it is a great accomplishment. To be a Gold Glover, that is every defender's goal. All the hard work paid off and that is a great feeling." Beltre said. "I wasn't expecting or waiting for it to happen, because there is a lot of competition in the American League. I was actually pretty shocked when John [McLaren] told me, but shocked in a very good way."

Beltre, 28, played six full seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers before signing a five-year deal with Seattle in 2005.

He is the first Mariners third baseman to win a Gold Glove. As a franchise, Seattle now has won the award at every position except catcher.

For 21 straight years -- since 1987 -- the Mariners have had at least one Gold Glove recipient. This is the ninth time the club has had at least two winners. The most was four in 2003: Ichiro, second baseman Bret Boone, first baseman John Olerud and outfielder Mike Cameron.

The other AL Gold Glovers this year are Minnesota pitcher Johan Santana, Detroit catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis, Detroit second baseman Placido Polanco, Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera, Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter and Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore.

Bob Sherwin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["awards" ] }
{"content":["awards" ] }