PHOENIX -- Carlos Gomez had a golden surprise waiting for him when he reported for Spring Training on Thursday.
Waiting at Gomez's locker was the Rawlings outfielder's glove he has used since his days with the Minnesota Twins. It had been sent to the shop after last season for a tuneup, and returned with the new laces Gomez expected plus two things he did not expect. The worn, red labels on the wrist and at the base of the thumb had been replaced with shiny gold.
Such an honor is reserved for winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Gomez was the Brewers' first winner since 1982.
"For the last six years, seven years, it's something that I thought I could win," Gomez said. "I have the ability, all I needed was opportunity and to be a little more consistent. I say thank you to the people who vote. All the managers realized my hard work. I'm proud of myself."
Gomez's glove goes back a while. It was his backup beginning in 2008, when he joined the Minnesota Twins. After the Twins traded Gomez to Milwaukee, it became his game glove.