By Rob Rains
When Brendan Donovan got the phone call a few days ago with the news that he had won a Gold Glove, the Cardinals’ rookie responded with a question.
“I’m not going to lie, I was very surprised, very shocked,” Donovan said Tuesday night. “I think I said, ‘Are you kidding me or joking with me three or four times.”
Assured that the news was true, Donovan finally was able to let it soak in that he had won the first award presented by Rawlings to a utility player.
He also became the first rookie in Cardinals history to earn a Gold Glove.
Donovan logged his most innings at second base, but also started games at five other defensive positions, committing a combined seven errors in 864 innings. He became the first player since 1900 to make his first four career starts in the majors at the four infield positions.
“Credit to Rawlings, it is so cool,” Donovan said. “Being a utility guy you may not qualify at another position. It’s awesome on their behalf.”
Donovan beat out teammate Tommy Edman, who also was a finalist at second base, and Arizona’s Daulton Varsho.
Donovan said he was surprised just to be named a finalist for the award a few weeks ago.
“It’s definitely cool,” he said. “There’s a lot of things I want to clean up this off-season on the defensive side of the ball. I want to give credit to some of the guys like Stubby Clapp, who hit so many ground balls. Packy Elkins caught so many throws at first base during BP. Skip Schumaker hit a ton of fungos.
“The staff worked their butts off and they got me comfortable at those positions so credit to them. Credit to my teammates. Being a rookie I came in and they welcomed me with open arms and were more than happy to answer all my questions.”
Donovan told family members that he had won prior to Tuesday’s official announcement, knowing they would be able to keep the secret.
Wben it was time for the official announcement, Donovan had to interrupt his work building furniture to join his family watching on television.
“I was putting together a dresser and my phone was on vibrate and then I checked my phone because it was nuts,” he said. “I ran up there and I saw it. Awesome. Then I ran down and finished the dresser.”
Does Donovan have a spot picked out already for the award?
“I might have to move the TV, but that’s OK,” he said.
Donovan already knew this was going to be a big winter for him. He also is one of the three finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year award, which will be announced later this month, and he is set to be married in February.
Donovan was one of two Cardinals to win a Gold Glove, joining third baseman Nolan Arenado, who won for the 10th consecutive year.
Edman, who won the Gold Glove at second base in 2021, lost out at that position to Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers.
Paul Goldschmidt, who also won last year, was one of three finalists at first base but the award for that positionwent to Arizaon’s Christian Walker.
Arenado has won the award every year of his career. He is the second player in history and first NL player to win a Gold Glove in each of his first 10 seasons, joining Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki.
Arenado tied Mike Schmidt for the second-most Gold Gloves at third base behind Brooks Robinson, who won the award 16 times.
He is one of only four infielders to win at least 10 consecutive awards, joining Robinson, Ozzie Smith (13) and Keith Hernandez (11).
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports