BALTIMORE -- A historic Orioles defense was rewarded handily on Tuesday night, as three Baltimore players earned Rawlings Gold Glove Awards: shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and third baseman Manny Machado.
It marks the second consecutive year the Orioles have had a trio of American League Gold Glove recipients, recognized for their exceptional defense. The total tied the Kansas City Royals for most in the Major Leagues.
"I'm just proud of the work they put in and it's an honor to watch them play defense. They care about it because they realize how important it is," manager Buck Showalter said of his club, which had three other nominees -- catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis and right fielder Nick Markakis -- to round out a defense that set Major League records for fewest errors (54), highest fielding percentage (.991) and errorless games (119).
"It's certainly a part of the culture a lot of people talk about it, but you got to have the players."
The honor was a first for Machado in his first full Major League season, Hardy's second and the third for Jones, who won along with Hardy in 2012 and also took home a Gold Glove in '09. Jones and Hardy are the first set of AL teammates to win in back-to-back years since third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for Seattle in 2007-08. Machado is the first O's third baseman to win the award since the legendary Brooks Robinson won the last of his record 16 in 1975.
"You always have it in the back of your mind that you always want to win a Gold Glove," said Machado, who is in the second week of his rehab after undergoing knee surgery to repair a season-ending injury.
"I was kind of surprised when my name got called and I'm just honored. ... It wasn't something that happened myself, it helped me out having Buck and [third base coach] Bobby Dickerson with me every day and learning from J.J., who has won a Gold Glove in the past, learning from him how he goes about his business. And obviously [Davis] over there helping out with all the throws I made.
It's a team thing and you can see that with how many players we had nominated."
None were more impressive than Machado, who beat out Texas' Beltre and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, leading the League in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355), double plays turned (42) and range factor (3.02), and finishing second with 116 putouts. The 21-year-old All-Star's 32 total zone runs, which is the number of runs above average the player was worth based on the number of plays made, was the highest total for any defender in the Majors in 2013 and tied for 12th all-time. It was also the best defensive season by an AL infielder since Mark Belanger's 35 in 1975.
Additionally, Machado's 4.4 defensive wins above replacement led the league and was the third-highest total in baseball, tying him for the eighth-highest single-season total in history at any position.
Hardy is the third shortstop in O's history to win the award in consecutive years, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (1991-92) and Belanger (six straight, 1973-78). The captain of the Orioles infield, Hardy led all AL shortstops in games (159) and double plays turned (108) and also ranked in the top four in assists (2nd -- 403), putouts (3rd -- 230), total zone runs (3rd -- 4) and fielding percentage (4th -- .981).
"It's something that I don't think will ever get old," Hardy said of adding another Gold Glove to his collection. "It's a true honor. It was just as exciting this year as it was last year for me."
Jones led all AL center fielders in games (156), assists (11) and putouts (352) and was third in fielding percentage (.995). It is the third time in the last four seasons he has led AL center fielders in putouts. The 28-year-old, who also got engaged on Tuesday, was out of the country and unavailable for comment.
"The players get all the credit. They do all the work, but the other thing to keep in mind was the emphasis the management team put on defense," said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette of an Orioles club that had at least three winners for the 10th time in team history. "That's a credit to Buck and his coaches and to the pride that all these men take in their job."
The Orioles' 67 Gold Gloves, by 17 players, is the second-highest total by any team since the award was created in 1957 (St. Louis, 84) and the most in the American League. And the 2013 club will go down in history as one of baseball's best.
"I don't think I've been a part of something like this," Hardy said of the Orioles' collective efforts in the field. "It was pretty special, pretty much every position was an outstanding job."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.