Nationals Third Baseman Ryan Zimmerman Earns First Rawlings Gold Glove Award

NATIONALS THIRD BASEMAN RYAN ZIMMERMAN

EARNS FIRST RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman today was named the recipient of the 2009 National League Rawlings Gold Glove for third basemen. The defensive citation is the first of Zimmerman's career.

Zimmerman led all National League third baggers this season in total chances (MLB-best 459), assists (MLB-high 325), range factor per game (2.97) and games started (153). At 18.1, Zimmerman also paced NL third basemen in Ultimate Zone Rating, a figure that blends the number of runs above or below average a fielder is in three categories: range runs, double play runs, and error runs combined. Zimmerman's 18.1 rating ranked third in baseball among all position players at any of the nine positions.

Last month, ESPN named Zimmerman as its 2009 Web Gem Champion after he amassed 19 Web Gems and 61 Web Gem points during the 2009 campaign.

Zimmerman is only the second Washington-based big leaguer to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove. Senators catcher Earl Battey earned the first of his three career Gold Gloves in 1960, his lone season in Washington. Rawlings established the Gold Glove in 1957 to reward defensive excellence.

Beyond his Gold Glove season in the field, Zimmerman enjoyed a breakout season at the plate in 2009, hitting .292 with 37 doubles, a career-high 33 home runs, 106 RBI and a career-best 110 runs scored in 157 games. Louisville Slugger will announce their 2009 Silver Slugger recipients Thursday at 6:00 p.m. on the MLB Network.