Oct. 30, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a career year at the plate, San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley was honored for his work with the glove at the hot corner on Tuesday, being named the Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award winner. He is the second former Vol to earn a Gold Glove, joining Todd Helton who won three as the Colorado Rockies first baseman in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
"This is a tremendous award and I am truly blessed to even be considered in that race," Headley said. "There are a lot of great third basemen in the league so just to be even mentioned with the best is a great honor. I am definitely humbled and honored to win it.
"I take pride in every aspect of my game whether it is defensively, offensively or even base running. You want to be the best that you can be at every aspect of [the game], but there was a focus on it going into Spring Training and it is obviously nice to get the results when you focus on something."
Headley beat out fellow third basemen David Wright of the New York Mets and Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers who were named finalists for the award on Monday.
The Fountain, Colo., native established himself as one of the top all-around players in the National League this season, finishing with a .286 batting average, 31 home runs and 115 RBIs, which led the Senior Circuit. Headley also reached safely in 146 games this season, which tied for the sixth-most for any NL player since 1962.
The 28-year-old led all Major League third basemen with 159 starts at the corner in 2012, the third-most starts at any position among National Leaguers. His 1,397.0 innings at third base led all of Major League Baseball. He committed just 10 errors in 424 total chances, the most total chances among all NL third basemen, for a .976 fielding percentage, second-best in the Majors among qualifying third basemen.
Headley played at Tennessee from 2004-05, helping lead the Vols to the College World Series in his final year at Rocky Top. At UT, he hit .357 with 16 home runs and 88 RBIs in 110 career games. As a junior, he earned third-team All-America honors after winning the SEC batting title by hitting .387. He also led the league in walks (63), runs scored (82) and on-base percentage (.530).
His work in the classroom did not go unnoticed either as he became just the fifth Tennessee baseball player to earn first-team Academic All-America accolades.