ST. LOUIS – August 19, 2013 – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) unveiled today the committee of seven sabermetric experts and the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI™), the new statistical breakdown for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™ selection processes the committee created.
The 2013 season marks the first season Rawlings formally incorporates sabermetrics as a component of the two Award platforms.
“As we looked to marry ‘The Art of Fielding with the Science of Baseball™,’ the composition of the SABR Defensive Index is exactly what we were hoping to achieve,” said Mike Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Since its inception in 1957, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has relied on the major-league managers and coaches’ invaluable insights and keen understanding of the art of fielding to reward the best defensive players in the game. The new sabermetric component in the selection process is just another example of how the iconic Award has evolved throughout history as the industry standard honoring defensive excellence at the highest level of baseball.”
Rawlings revealed the revised selection process overview in March as part of its new collaboration with SABR. Since that announcement, SABR enlisted an independent committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement to devise the SDI. The SABR Defensive Committee includes:
- Committee chair Vince Gennaro, SABR President and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball
- Sean Forman, founder of Baseball-Reference.com
- John Dewan, owner of Baseball Info Solutions
- Bo Moon, executive vice president and co-founder of Bloomberg Sports
- Chris Dial, author and recognized expert on defensive metrics
- Michael Humphreys, author of Wizardry: Baseball’s All-Time Greatest Fielders Revealed
- F.X. Flinn, SABR board of directors
“The committee evaluated a wide range of existing metrics based on their track record, methodology, consistency and their overall acceptance within the baseball statistical community,” said Gennaro. “While fielding is perhaps the ultimate art form in baseball, SABR is proud to partner with Rawlings and the iconic Rawlings Gold Glove Award to introduce ‘science’ into the Rawlings Gold Glove Award criteria.”
The SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball, location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating.
Rawlings and SABR tasked the new committee to define a single measure of a player’s defensive performance that could be incorporated into the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process to complement the judgment of the managers and coaches, who continue to comprise a majority of the election system. The SABR Defensive Index accounts for 30 total “votes” — or approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process — that will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches. The exact number will be based on the total number of managers and coaches’ ballots received each year.
Rawlings will include the SDI as part of the revamped statistical resource guide that will accompany the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballots sent to managers and coaches in September. The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners will be unveiled during a one-hour, ESPN2 “Baseball Tonight” primetime special, Tuesday, October 29, 2013, beginning at 7pm ET/6pm CT.
The SDI will be instrumental in comparing players across positions to help determine the updated Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, now presented by SABR. Fans will continue to have a voice during this process, and will be able to vote online once the newest class of Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners is announced during the telecast. The official breakdown of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award selection process will be announced at a later date.
For more details on the new SABR Defensive Index, click here.
About the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® is a registered trademark owned by Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. The award is correctly identified as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The name should not be shortened, abbreviated or otherwise misused. Proper identification of this service mark using the registration symbol and the Rawlings name is important to protect the integrity of the program and perpetuate this worthy tradition. For more information, please visit rawlingsgoldglove.com.
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes from the sandlot to the pros. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more athletes choose Rawlings, and why Rawlings is the Official Batting Helmet and Ball Supplier of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.
About Jarden Corporation
Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of a diverse range of consumer products with a portfolio of over 100 trusted, quality brands sold globally. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, Aero®, Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, ExOfficio®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, Invicta®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Völkl® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Breville®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bernardin®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Lifoam®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Quickie®, Spontex® and Tigex®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden ranks #383 on the Fortune 500 and has over 25,000 employees worldwide. For further information about Jarden, please visit jarden.com.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering research and disseminating the history and record of baseball. Founded in 1971, SABR has more than 6,500 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant baseball community and a premier distributor of ground-breaking baseball information. SABR features 61 chapters and 28 research committees, and produces three annual publications – two editions of The Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime – in addition to other print and e-books. SABR also hosts annual events, including the National Convention each summer, and the SABR Analytics Conference in March in Phoenix. For more information about SABR, go to SABR.org.
Originally published: August 19, 2013. Last Updated: May 12, 2020.