CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor was honored with his first American League Gold Glove Award on Tuesday night, and there was no doubt in his mind who was most responsible for the accomplishment.
Although Lindor had to make the plays in the field for the Indians, who won the AL Championship and were within one victory of a World Series title, he was quick to credit his father, Miguel Lindor, with the achievement.
“The instincts that I have, my hands, and everything, I owe it to him and my brother and my cousin,” Lindor told ESPN shortly after the announcement was made Tuesday night.
“They’re the three guys that helped me the most growing up. My foundation, my base is from them, and then, along the way, there’s a lot of people that helped me throughout my career. I can’t forget about them, but my pops is unbelievable. Most of the things I know, I owe to him.”
Over 155 regular-season games, Lindor had a .982 fielding percentage. In 674 total chances over 1,365 innings of work, Lindor registered 215 putouts, as well as 447 assists against only 12 errors. Lindor helped turn 83 double plays in the regular season.
“We used to do a lot of ground balls on a hill,” Lindor recalled. “Next to my house, there was like a little hill, not too steep, but he used to hit me ground balls and if I missed them, I had to go chase it.
“I never wanted to go chase the ball and hide in the bushes. I was scared of the bushes. I didn’t know what was in there, so I had to do whatever it took to make sure I read the bat the right way, read the hop of the ball and try to catch it, keep it in front of me at least.”
Lindor is the first Indians player honored with a Gold Glove since center fielder Grady Sizemore won back-to-back awards during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Also, Lindor is just the second shortstop in Indians history to be honored with a Gold Glove Award. Indians Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel won the American League Gold Glove Award for eight straight years from 1994 through 2001.
When asked what his favorite play of the season was, Lindor citied a bare-handed attempt that got a runner out at first base, and again, was reminded of his father hitting him ground balls in his native Puerto Rico.
“The Fowler play is the most recent one,” Lindor said. “I knew it was going to be a cutter in and I knew he was going to try and pull the ball because that was what he was trying to do, but there was another play I made during the year. It was a one-hop behind the mound. I barehanded the ball and threw it to first base and it took me back to when I tried to make a fancy play and my dad would scream at me, ‘Don’t miss the ball!’
“Words can’t describe how happy I am. I can’t wait to show it off to my pops.”