A week after the Los Angeles Dodgers captured the 2020 World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, Major League Baseball again took center stage in the sports world Tuesday evening when this year’s Gold Glove winners were announced. Gold Gloves are given to the best defensive player at each position in both the National and American Leagues, and among the 18 recipients was NL third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies.
The 29-year-old has taken home a Gold Glove each of the eight seasons he’s been in the majors, which ties him for third place all time for third baseman in MLB history, and extends his own record for the most consecutive Gold Gloves to begin an infielder’s career.
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“It [was] one of those years I felt complete on the defensive side. My arm felt really strong this year,” Arenado told MLB.com. “I kept that thing in better shape. I didn’t have that ol’ dead arm; it was a short season. I just felt better. I played well. I knew I was going to be up there. The pitchers gave me a lot of plays to make.”
Added Rockies manager Bud Black, “Again this year, [Arenado] showed why he is the premier defensive third baseman in the game. Day in, day out, he makes plays that set him apart from all others. His eighth Gold Glove is a result of hard work and desire to be the best he can be.”
Over baseball’s 60-game regular-season sprint in 2020, the defensive stalwart led the majors with 15 defensive runs saved while surrendering only three errors for a career-best fielding percentage of .982.
Arenado’s list of accomplishments gets even longer with each passing year. In addition to his franchise-leading eighth Gold Gloves, he’s also been a three-time NL home run leader, a four-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award and a five-time All-Star.
Praise comes his way after each successful season, and Arenado was awarded with a lucrative eight-year contract extension in February 2019. Still, he says it is not him who should be applauded.
“I always have a hard time when people say ‘you’ve done this’ and ‘you’ve done that,’” Arenado said on the Table Forty podcast with Matt and Leslee Holliday in June. “I’m like, ‘It’s not really me, to be quite honest with you.’ I know I’m out there doing it, but God blessed me with health to do it. It’s a way bigger picture for me.”
Tattooed on the third baseman’s left forearm is a Bible verse — Matthew 19:26 — which says, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
This year, while he excelled on defense, Arenado posted a career-low batting average (.253). But through the ups and downs that come with a long baseball career, he’s realized the best way to navigate the rough patches is by putting them in God’s hands.
“I’ve really had to rely on my faith in God to get me through a lot of times where I’m like, ‘Dude, I just don’t know what I’m going to do,’” Arenado told Table Forty. “I’ll hit as much as I can and those aren’t the answers. The answer is to pray and give it to Him.”
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