FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
David Zumbach, Vice President Marketing, Rawlings
Doug Terfehr, Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
Rawlings to Unveil Ballot of Top 50 All-Time Rawlings Gold Glovers
Original 1957 Rawlings Gold Glove Winners to Help Launch
National Debate in which Fans will Vote for “Finest in the Field”
ST. LOUIS (February 13, 2007) – While Major League Baseball® players immerse in the first full week of spring training, members of the original 1957 Rawlings Gold Glove Team will report to New York City next Tuesday (Feb. 20) to help unveil the national ballot of the top 50 Rawlings Gold Glovers as selected by a crackerjack team of baseball pundits and purists.
The ballot will then be turned over to fans around the world, who over the next several months will select the “Finest in the Field” – the best Rawlings Gold Glover of the past 50 years at each position.
The ballot’s unveiling kicks off the Golden Anniversary celebration of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® -- the measuring stick of fielding excellence and the ultimate benchmark for outstanding defensive performance.
Three of the five living members of the original 1957 Rawlings Gold Glove Team will attend a news conference next Tuesday in Times Square: Willie Mays, Frank Malzone and Minnie Minoso. Rawlings will honor the entire team (see below) while having the three members present help unveil the ballot and cast the first votes. The news conference will be at the ESPN Zone and emceed by sports broadcaster Chris Berman.
The ballot of 50 players was set in December by a congress of nearly 70 baseball historians and experts, including those who played the game, managed the game, and reported on the game. The ballot was created from the more than 250 players who have ever won a Rawlings Gold Glove. The panel identified 18 outfielders, six fielders at each infield position (first, second and third base and shortstop), five catchers and three pitchers.
Panelists include skippers who won multiple Manager of the Year awards, Ford C. Frick award winners, J.G. Taylor Spink award winners, and other baseball experts, including broadcasters, historians, and current and former presidents of the Baseball Writers Association of America: from Bob Costas to Vin Scully, from Tommy Lasorda to Tony LaRussa, from Ernie Harwell to Harry Kalas to Hank Bauer to Tim Kurkjian.
“Establishing the ballot has been a challenging and exciting experience in and of itself,” said Rawlings President Robert Parish. “When the ballot is revealed and turned over to the fans, the debate is going to be terrific for both fans and players. It will transcend generations – from grandparents to youth.
“Nothing beats a good baseball argument. And discussing the merits of high-performance defense with the passion this ballot will generate is, frankly, overdue.”
Fans will vote online at www.RawlingsGoldGlove.com, via mobile device and text messaging, and at numerous sporting goods retailers. The Web site will provide comprehensive background on each member of the ballot as well as tools to enable voters to compare players head-to-head and from different eras.
The All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team as chosen by fans will be revealed mid-summer.
To learn more, visit www.RawlingsGoldGlove.com.
Members of the original 1957 Rawlings Gold Glove Team
Willie Mays, CF (New York Giants); Al Kaline, RF (Detroit Tigers); Minnie Minoso, LF (Chicago White Sox); Frank Malzone, 3B (Boston Red Sox); Nellie Fox, 2B (Chicago White Sox); Gil Hodges, 1B (Dodgers); Roy McMillan, SS (Cincinnati Reds); Sherm Lollar C (Chicago White Sox); and Bobby Shantz, P (New York Yankees).
About the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® is a Registered Service Mark owned by Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. The award is correctly identified as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The name should not be shortened, abbreviated or otherwise misused. Proper identification of this service mark using the registration symbol and the Rawlings name is important to protect the integrity of the program and perpetuate this worthy tradition.
The greatest measure of fielding excellence since 1957, the heralded Rawlings Gold Glove Award is presented annually to 18 Major League Baseball players, one for each position, in both the National and American Leagues. (In 1957, only nine players received the award.) These outstanding players are selected as the best fielding players at their respective positions by Major League coaches and managers prior to the conclusion of the regular season. Managers and coaches may not select players from their own club and only vote for players in their own league.
Rawlings is a leading marketer and manufacturer of baseball equipment and other sporting goods in the United States. Rawlings is the Exclusive Official Baseball and Helmet of Major League Baseball® and official ball of the NCAA® baseball championships. Rawlings is also the official basketball for the NAIA®, NJCAA®, AAU® and many other organizations as well as official football of the NAIA®. Rawlings is the official basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer ball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit www.rawlings.com.