Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda added another accolade to his already lengthy list when he was revealed as one of this year’s Mitsui Golden Glove recipients on Tuesday afternoon.
Maeda is a winner for the fourth straight season and fifth time overall. Maeda is the third Central League pitcher to win the award in at least four consecutive seasons, following in the footsteps of former Yomiuri Giants pitchers Tsuneo Horiuchi, who reigned from 1972-78 and Takashi Nishimoto, who won seven straight from 1979-1985. Horiuchi was the chairman of this year’s Sawamura Award committee, which gave Maeda that honor last month.
Hanshin Tigers outfielder Kosuke Fukudome was also honored, winning the award for the first time since 2006. Fukudome won four previous Golden Gloves during his time with the Chunichi Dragons from 1999-2007. He left NPB after the 2007 season and spent five years in the major leagues before returning to Japan in 2013. His nine-year gap between Golden Gloves is the longest in CL history at any position, surpassing Motonobu Tanishige’s eight-year wait between wins in 1998 and 2007.
Current Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo owns the record in the Pacific League, having won as a second baseman in 1995 and again as a first baseman in 2010.
The Carp and Tokyo Yakult Swallows led the CL with three winners each. Hiroshima second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi and outfielder Yoshihiro Maru each won for the third consecutive season. Swallows catcher Yuhei Nakamura and third baseman Shingo Kawabata each earned the honor for the first time, while first baseman Kazuhiro Hatakeyama won his second.
The Tigers’ Takashi Toritani won for the third consecutive year, and fourth time overall, at shortstop. Chunichi Dragons outfielder Yohei Oshima won his second straight Golden Glove. Oshima now has four, which equals Fukudome for the most by a Chunichi outfielder.
There were no winners from the Yomiuri Giants, marking the first time in five years the Kyojin were absent.
In the Pacific League, Chiba Lotte Marines hurler Hideaki Wakui earned his third Golden Glove. Wakui, who won with Seibu in 2009 and 2010, joins Kimiyasu Kudo as the only pitchers with win with two Pa. League teams. Kudo won with the Lions in 1994 and as a member of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 1995.
Wakui edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani by four votes in the closest non-outfielder race in either league
The Marines also saw two players crowned for the first time in second baseman Luis Cruz and outfielder Ikuhiro Kiyota. Cruz is the first foreign second basemen to win the award in the PL since former Hankyu Braves infielder Bobby Marcano won the last of his four in 1979.
The reigning two-time Japan Series champion Fukuoka Softbank Hawks had three players named for the second consecutive season. Third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda and shortstop Kenta Imamiya each won for the third straight year. Outfielder Yuki Yanagita also earned the honor, winning his second straight.
The Seibu Lions’ Ginjiro Sumitani earned his second win to join 11-time winner Tsutomu Ito as the only Lions catchers with multiple Golden Gloves. Teammate Shogo Akiyama, who finished second to Yanagita by one vote, won his second in the outfield.
The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ Sho Nakata first baseman Sho Nakata earned his first Golden Glove.
2015 Mitsui Golden Glove winners
Pitcher: Kenta Maeda, Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Catcher: Yuhei Nakamura, Tokyo Yakult Swallows
First baseman: Kazuhiro Hatakeyama, Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Second baseman: Ryosuke Kikuchi, Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Third baseman: Shingo Kawabata, Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Shortstop: Takashi Toritani, Hanshin Tigers
Outfielders: Kosuke Fukudome, Hanshin Tigers
Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Yohei Oshima, Chunichi Dragons
Pitcher: Hideki Wakui, Chiba Lotte Marines
Catcher: Ginjiro Sumitani, Saitama Sebu Lions
First baseman: Sho Nakata, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Second baseman: Luis Cruz, Chiba Lotte Marines
Third baseman: Nobuhiro Matsuda, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Shortstop: Kenta Imamiya, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Outfielders: Yuki Yanagita, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
Shogo Akiyama, Saitama Seibu Lions
Ikuhiro Kiyota, Chiba Lotte Marines