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Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Suzuki, Hunter, Chavez lead AL Gold Glove winners

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter and Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez won their fifth straight Gold Gloves on Tuesday.

2005 AL Gold Glove winners
Pos. Player #
P Kenny Rogers,
Texas
4
C Jason Varitek, Boston 1
1B Mark Teixeira,
Texas
1
2B Orlando Hudson,
Toronto
1
SS Derek Jeter,
N.Y. Yankees
2
3B Eric Chavez,
Oakland
5
OF Torii Hunter,
Minnesota
5
OF Vernon Wells,
Toronto
2
OF Ichiro Suzuki,
Seattle
5
Boston catcher Jason Varitek, Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira and Toronto second baseman Orlando Hudson were first-time winners, while New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells won for the second straight season.

Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers won for the fourth time overall and second in a row.

"Defense usually doesn't make many headlines, but it goes a long way towards winning baseball games," Jeter said in a statement. "There are a number of ways to make an impact during the course of a game, and playing solid, sound defense is one of them."

Varitek took over at catcher from Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez.

"The most important job that I have is to work with the pitchers to help them be the best that they can be," Varitek said during a telephone conference call.

Hudson was surprised he beat out Baltimore's Brian Roberts.

"I would have bet anything that he was going to win," Hudson said. "This has always been a goal of mine, so I've accomplished one of my goals already."

Chavez, Suzuki and Varitek each earned $100,000 bonuses, while Rogers and Wells earned $50,000 apiece and Hunter $25,000.

"On behalf of our fans, we congratulate Ichiro on a well-deserved honor," Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said. "The great thing about the Gold Glove Awards is that the managers and coaches -- the people who know best -- are the ones doing the voting. And for five consecutive years, they have recognized what we see every day here in Seattle."

Chavez, who struggled to throw to first base in June because of inflammation behind his right shoulder, thought Texas' Hank Blalock might be the leading candidate this year.

"When you have a streak intact, you want to keep it going as long as you possibly can," said Chavez, who committed 15 errors. "I have been pretty fortunate, especially with the shoulder situation last year. The past four or five years, I've felt pretty lucky. I don't really expect anything. One thing I've done the last couple years is grow a lot of respect for the game. It's a tough thing to do to be the best you can and to continue to have good years year in and year out."

Gold Gloves, presented since 1957 by St. Louis-based Rawlings, are voted on by managers and coaches before the end of the regular season. They may not select players on their own teams, and they vote only for players in their own league.

NL Gold Glove winners will be announced Wednesday.