Rizzo, Heyward win NL Gold Glove Awards

November 9th, 2016

CHICAGO -- Right fielder won his fourth Rawlings Gold Glove Award and third in a row, while first baseman received his first for the Cubs. The defensive honors were announced on Tuesday night.

It's the first time the Cubs have had a Gold Glove winner since 2012, when second baseman captured the award, and the first time since '05 that the team has had multiple winners. In '05, first baseman Derrek Lee and pitcher Greg Maddux were both honored.

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Heyward, who also won the award in 2012 as well as '14 and '15, posted a .991 fielding percentage and a .985 Ultimate Zone Rating, which led all National League right fielders. He may not have contributed offensively as much as Cubs fans would have liked, but Heyward was a key piece of the Cubs' defense, and manager Joe Maddon often said he felt better having the 27-year-old in the outfield.

Heyward is the third outfielder in Cubs history to earn the award, joining two-time winner Andre Dawson (1987 and '88) and Bob Dernier in '84. Heyward is the youngest outfielder to earn the award in franchise history.

Rizzo, who jumped onto the wall along the first-base line to catch a foul ball this year, ranked third among NL first basemen in Ultimate Zone Rating (.888) and finished with a .996 fielding percentage, committing six errors in 154 games.

The 27-year-old credited his father, John, with helping him develop quick hands by chipping golf balls to him in the living room when he was growing up. Cubs coach Franklin Font and Rizzo have a daily routine at first base that helps the big leaguer fine-tune his game.

"It's amazing -- it means a lot," said Rizzo, who was interviewed during the ESPN broadcast on Tuesday night.

Rizzo is only the third first baseman in franchise history to earn this award, joining four-time winner Mark Grace (1992, '93, '95, '96) and two-time winner Lee (2005 and '07). He is also the youngest first baseman to win the award in Cubs history.

Rizzo and Heyward were two of the Cubs' four Gold Glove nominees. was a finalist but lost to Giants shortstop . Pitcher lost to the D-backs' . Russell and Arrieta were first-time nominees.

The Cubs have two position players honored in the same year for the first time since 1988, when Dawson and second baseman Ryne Sandberg earned the Gold Glove Award.

The Cubs were also one of three teams to have multiple Gold Glove winners, joining the Giants and the Rangers.