J.J. Hardy thought he'd hit a home run, only to be robbed when Mike Trout made one of the most sensational grabs of the season.
On Tuesday night, Hardy caught a break.
The Baltimore shortstop won a Gold Glove, putting him among a group of nine players honored for the first time for their fielding excellence.
It means a lot to me, Hardy said. It's definitely an award I always hoped to get and never really expected to get. I'm surprised and honored at the same time.
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, San Diego third baseman Chase Headley and Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick also were first-time selections.
The Orioles were the only team with three winners. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters were second-time choices, joining Hardy for the awards chosen by major league managers and coaches and presented by Rawlings.
Trout, the Angels rookie who spent the year climbing walls to take away potential homers, was not picked. Among his best catches came against Hardy at Camden Yards in June.
The San Francisco Giants, fresh off winning a World Series in which they excelled with their gloves, did not have a Gold Glover.
Hardy led the AL in fielding percentage, making only six errors in 158 games. Others relying on more advanced metrics and insist Seattle's Brendan Ryan was the best shortstop — then again, even though awards are strictly for fielding, players who don't produce at the plate often get bypassed, and Ryan hit a weak .194. Hardy hit 22 home runs.
Wieters, meanwhile, was chosen despite leading AL catchers with 10 errors. He was recognized for the many things he does well — he threw out 39 percent of would-be basestealers and rarely let pitches get past him.
Strong-armed St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina won for the fifth straight year and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira added his fifth award. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Miami pitcher Mark Buehrle became four-time winners.
The other first-time winners in the National League were Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche, Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward.
In the AL, pitchers Jake Peavy of the White Sox and Jeremy Hellickson shared the honor as first-time winners.
Also winning this year: Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon and Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.