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The Dodger's Own Golden Boy

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On Tuesday it was announced that Dodger catcher Russell Martin is joining a fraternity of National League catchers that include Johnny Roseboro, Johnny Bench, Benito Santiago, Tony Pena and even Mike Lieberthal. Russell Martin is now a gold glove winner.

Since 1957, Rawlings have been giving out the gold glove award for best fielding performance at each position. Martin is the first full year Dodger catcher since Johnny Roseboro in 1966 to win this award (Charles Johnson won the award in 1998 after having played in 31 games with the Florida Marlins).

Martin led the majors in catching in 145 games, 1,254 innings and having 1,065 putouts. Also he had 7.64 putouts per nine innings, 0.61 assists per nine innings and 11 double plays which led all National League catchers. He also was the first Dodger catcher since Mike Piazza in 1997 to start the All-Star game.

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New Dodger manager Joe Torre said in his press conference on Monday that he was concerned that Martin caught in so many games. I agree with him 100%, especially since we saw how Martin tired out at the end of the season. Although since the Dodgers didn’t pick up the option to back-up catcher and former gold glove winner Mike Lieberthal’s contract, the depth in that position is suddenly gone in the wind. I guess they’re counting on Chad Moeller?

So congratulations to Russell. This should make a good negotiating tool for him when he becomes eligible for salary arbitration after the 2008 season.

Original AP Photo by Gene J. Puskar