Edmonds garners eighth Gold Glove

Edmonds garners eighth Gold Glove

ST. LOUIS -- Jim Edmonds won the eighth Gold Glove of his career on Wednesday, including his sixth in six seasons in the National League, moving him into some elite company, historically.

Edmonds joined Atlanta's Andruw Jones and the Phillies' Bobby Abreu as the league's golden outfield. Jones also garnered the eighth Gold Glove of his career, and the two stars moved into a tie for fifth place all-time in outfield gold. Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays won 12 Gold Gloves each, and Ken Griffey Jr. and Al Kaline each have 10. Following them is a seven-way tie that now includes Edmonds and Jones.

However, Edmonds was the only Cardinal to bring home the hardware, ending a streak of five straight seasons in which at least two St. Louis players won Gold Gloves. It's the sixth straight year that at least one Cardinal was recognized.

Edmonds' spectacular leaping and diving catches make him a staple of highlight shows, but he's also a sure defender with a strong and accurate arm. Despite starting just 132 games, Edmonds still ranked eighth among all NL outfielders with 318 putouts and 326 total chances, and he recorded six assists. He committed two errors all season for a .994 fielding percentage and had a range factor of 2.53 -- fourth among NL outfielders with at least 100 starts.

As a team, St. Louis played some of the best defensive baseball in the National League, leading the league in double plays and ranking second in defensive efficiency rating. However, the Cards lost three defensive stalwarts for all or most of 2005 -- Mike Matheny and Edgar Renteria both left via free agency and Scott Rolen was injured for the majority of the season. Each of the three won multiple Gold Gloves in St. Louis.

Nonetheless, the Cardinals believed they had two other strong candidates, neither of whom was recognized. Mark Grudzielanek led the league in double plays at second base and had the highest fielding percentage of any regular keystone man in the NL. Grudzielanek was edged out for the award by Florida's Luis Castillo, who won it for the third straight year.

Yadier Molina, Matheny's protege, was easily the most dominant throwing catcher in the league, gunning down 25 of 39 would-be base-stealers. Molina permitted 14 successful steals -- among catchers with at least 100 games played behind the plate, the second-lowest total was 39. However, Molina was charged with seven errors to Matheny's one, and eight passed balls to Matheny's four.

The Rawlings Gold Glove awards have been given annually since 1957. Coaches and managers vote for winners in their respective leagues, and may not vote for players from their own teams.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.