Wieters and Markakis claim first Gold Gloves

Late tonight, Rawlings announced that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and right fielder Nick Markakis have been named this year’s American League Gold Glove Award recipients for defensive excellence at their respective positions.

The award for Wieters culminates a season in which the 25-year-old was also named to his first All-Star team and set new career-highs in eight offensive categories, including hits, home runs, runs and RBIs. His .995 fielding percentage tied for the American League lead among catchers. Wieters is the first Orioles catcher to win a Gold Glove Award.

Markakis, 27, completed the first error-free season of 150 or more games played by an Orioles outfielder in franchise history and finished fifth in the American League with 14 outfield assists. He led the Orioles in games played for the fifth consecutive season and is joined by New York’s Robinson Cano as the only two players in the American League to play in 155 or more games in each of the last five seasons. Since making his major league debut in 2006, Markakis’ 72 outfield assists are second in the majors only to Jeff Francoeur’s 84.

Wieters and Markakis are the 14th and 15th Orioles overall to win a Gold Glove. Markakis is the third Orioles outfielder to be named as a Gold Glove Award winner, joining Paul Blair (1967, 1969-75) and Adam Jones (2009).

2011 marks the 17th season the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season, and the first time since second baseman Roberto Alomar, pitcher Mike Mussina and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro each claimed a Gold Glove Award in 1998.

Orioles players have earned a total of 61 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, second-most in the American League, two behind the New York Yankees (63) and 19 more than the next-closest AL team, the Minnesota Twins (42).