11/06/07 8:00 PM ET
Francoeur, Jones pick up Gold Gloves
Right fielder wins award for first time; center fielder gets No. 10
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Adding to the significance of this honor is the fact Francoeur has the opportunity to share it with his good friend and teammate Andruw Jones, who was presented his 10th straight Gold Glove Award.
"It's always an honor to get this award," Jones said. "This one feels as good as the first and second ones. It doesn't matter how many you get. They're all special."
Jones has captured each of his 10 Gold Glove Awards since becoming the Braves' starting center fielder in 1998. This likely will be the last one he wins in Atlanta. The Braves already have announced they won't pursue him on the free-agent market.
"It didn't come as a surprise," said Jones of the Braves' decision not to negotiate a new contract with him. "I knew it was coming, whether I had an MVP year or a lousy year."
At just 30 years old, Jones needs to win two more Gold Glove Awards to match Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays for the most captured by an outfielder.
This marks the first time since 1993 that National League outfielders who were teammates gained a Gold Glove Award in the same year. The previous duo to do it was Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker, when they were playing for the Montreal Expos.
Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Cameron both won Gold Glove Awards after spending the 2003 season together as teammates in Seattle.
"I'm really proud that Jeff got this," Jones said. "He worked hard and really made himself better. He deserved it. I'm going to miss playing with him."
Francoeur tied Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand in this year's balloting that once again was conducted among managers and coaches.
Because of the tie, four NL outfielders were awarded Gold Glove Awards this year. The other winner was New York's Carlos Beltran.
"It's great for him that people are taking notice," Braves general manager Frank Wren said of Francoeur. "We've always taken notice. It always comes as a surprise to us to see third-base coaches choose to test his arm."
Francoeur's career-best 19 outfield assists tied him for the Major League lead with Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer.
Francoeur, who played every game this season and committed five errors in 351 total chances, currently is on his honeymoon in Mexico. His voicemail says he didn't take his cell phone with him on the trip. Thus, it's unknown when he was alerted of this honor.
Jones committed just two errors and compiled a .995 fielding percentage. His 401 total chances ranked second in the NL behind Rowand's 405.
Other NL Gold Glove winners this year were San Diego pitcher Greg Maddux, Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin, Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee, Arizona second baseman Orlando Hudson, Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins and New York third baseman David Wright.
Wright's selection came as a bit of a surprise to those who thought this might be the year Chipper Jones earned his first career Gold Glove Award. He ranked third among NL third baseman with a .971 fielding percentage and tied for the fewest errors among this group with nine.
Wright committed 21 errors and had a .954 fielding percentage.
Maddux has won a record 17 Gold Glove Awards, and 10 of those came during his days with the Braves. He had won 13 straight before his then-Atlanta teammate Mike Hampton ended the run in 2003.
Jones, Maddux, Phil Niekro and Dale Murphy are the only players to win at least five Gold Gloves while wearing a Braves uniform.
Gold Gloves have been presented every year since 1957 by Rawlings. Managers and coaches vote before the end of the regular season and can't select any of their own players.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.