Second baseman Orlando Hudson entered select company when he won the Gold Glove in the National League on Friday, joining Diamondbacks partner Matt Williams as one of six infielders in major league history to win the award in both leagues.
“Being in that small class means a lot. It’s an honor,” said Hudson, who won in his first season with the D-Backs after claiming one in Toronto in 2005.
“He makes plays that other guys really don’t,” analyst Steve Phillips said on the ESPN awards show.
Despite leading the major leagues in chances, assists and double plays, Hudson said he will be better next year by cutting down on his errors, 13 this season after only six in 2005.
“I can name eight errors that were a just a lack of concentration,” Hudson said.
“I got lackadaisical, thinking the ball was going in the glove. I hope to cut that down by between eight and 10 next year.”
Hudson, Robin Ventura and J.T. Snow are the only players since the Gold Glove was established in 1957 to win in consecutive seasons in different leagues. Bret Boone and Omar Vizquel also have won in both leagues.
Hudson and Vizquel were the NL middle infield this year, Hudson and Derek Jeter were the AL award winners last season.
“A pretty high class to be neighbors,” said Hudson, who admitted changing leagues was not easy. “Early on in the season, it was a struggle. But I told myself ‘I did it before, I’m going to do it again.’ ”
Hudson credited former D-Backs third-base coach Brian Butterfield with teaching him the finer points of the position when both were in Toronto, and said Jay Bell added to that knowledge last season.
“I knew he was a good defender because I managed against him” in the American League, D-Backs manager Bob Melvin said.
“When you watch him over 162 (games) and see how many balls he gets to, that is very impressive. On top of that, the fly balls he gets to. Between him and Carlos (Quentin in right field), not much is going to fall in out there.”