'Joke' corrected -- LoCain wins first Gold Glove

November 4th, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The drumbeat from within the Brewers clubhouse began in Spring Training, when manager Craig Counsell called it “a joke” that had never won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

It continued on Opening Day, when Cain’s game-ending home run robbery saved a win over the Cardinals and Christian Yelich lamented that Cain was a Gold Glove finalist in 2018, only to be snubbed. And it reached a crescendo during the final series of the regular season, when an exasperated Gio Gonzalez brought up the award again after Cain pulled back another homer in a hard-luck loss to the Rockies.

"It’s about damn time he gets that Gold Glove,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t know if we have to literally go to Tiffany’s or wherever we have to go to buy this Gold Glove for him. He needs this Gold Glove. That guy deserves it, and hands down is one of the best outfielders in the game. Give him his damn Gold Glove already.”

On Sunday, he got it.

Cain won the 11th Rawlings Gold Glove Award in Brewers history, edging fellow finalists Victor Robles of the Nationals and Harrison Bader of the Cardinals to triumph among National League center fielders.

Cain is only the sixth Brewers player to win a Gold Glove, and the third Brewers outfielder. George Scott won the award among American League first basemen in five straight seasons from 1972-76, and Cecil Cooper won at first base in '79 and ’80. Outfielder Sixto Lezcano won in '79, Robin Yount won as the AL shortstop in '82 and then there was a Gold Glove drought in Milwaukee until Carlos Gomez won among NL center fielders in 2013.

“He’s unbelievable, he really is. He’s a gamer and I love playing with him,” Yelich said on Opening Day, when Cain’s leaping catch of Jose Martinez’s deep drive with two outs in the ninth inning sealed a 5-4 Brewers win over the Cardinals. “I think we all thought he was deserving to have won one last year. But the thing about LoCain is he doesn’t care about those things.”

To the contrary, this was one honor Cain actually cared very much about.

“That's something that I've been wanting for a while now and it stings a little bit that I haven't won one yet,” he said on Opening Day. “I feel like I've put in the work and I’ve done the things I needed to do to win one, but it is what it is. Maybe if I save 50 runs this year, I'll have a chance.”

He didn’t quite do that, but Cain did record 20 Defensive Runs Saved for the second straight season. He was second among all non-catchers in the Major Leagues to Robles (22). In '18, Cain tied Boston’s Mookie Betts with 20 DRS to lead Major League outfielders.

Among the players celebrating Cain’s honor on Sunday was former Royals teammate Alex Gordon, who won his seventh Gold Glove Award in the AL. He was clearly pleased, but said he was even happier to learn that Cain had finally won the award.

“I think that meant more to me than mine,” Gordon said.

Cain was the Brewers’ only Gold Glove Award finalist this year.

As one of the NL’s nine Gold Glove winners, Cain is now eligible for the Platinum Glove Award, which is given to the best defensive player from each league. Voting for the award, which was established in 2011, is open at Rawlings.com and will continue until 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday. The two league winners will be announced on Friday.