Rawlings creates new Gold Glove Team Award using SABR Defensive Index

SABR Defensive Index

OCTOBER 29, 2020 — Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., the originator of the iconic Rawlings Gold Glove Award® recognizing superior defense at each position, has now expanded the platform to award the best team defense over the course of the regular season. Two teams will receive the newly created award – one in both the American and National Leagues.

“Since 1957, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has been an individual player award and the standard by which all defensive excellence is measured, and now 63 years later in 2020, we’re excited to evolve this historic honor to include MLB® teams,” said Mike Thompson, chief marketing officer for Rawlings. “The addition of the Rawlings Gold Glove Team Award will create a new level of competition by crowning the best of the best defensive team in each league.”

The Rawlings Gold Glove Team Awards will utilize a sabermetric model formulated by the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) known as the SABR Defensive Index™ (SDI). The SDI 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.  SDI utilizes MLBAM’s Statcast, Sports Information Solutions data, and STATS, LLC data as well as traditional statistics with advanced analysis.

“SABR is thrilled to continue to assist with the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and is honored that the SABR Defensive Index was trusted with identifying the premier defensive teams in both the American and National Leagues,” SABR CEO Scott Bush said. “We look forward to continuing our work with Rawlings to acknowledge preeminent defensive play.”

The inaugural Rawlings Gold Glove Team Award winners will be unveiled alongside the Rawlings Platinum Award™ recipients exclusively on MLB Network’s Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight on Friday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m. ET, co-hosted by Stephen Nelson, Dan Plesac, and Ron Darling. 

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Originally published: October 29, 2020. Last Updated: October 30, 2020.

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