It seemed an outrageous comment at first. "He might be the best defensive first baseman in the American League," Angel third base coach Larry Bowa said of Darin Erstad.
A part-time infielder the best at his position? C'mon. What's next, a utility player winning a Gold Glove?
Then Bowa ran down the list of AL first basemen, and a distinguished fielding group this is not: Tino Martinez, Brian Daubach, Carlos Delgado, Will Clark, Fred McGriff, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Tony Clark, Doug Mientkiewicz, Joe Vitiello, Lee Stevens, Jason Giambi and Raul Ibanez.
"I'm right, he is the best first baseman in the league!" Bowa said, somewhat amazed his initial assessment may have been right. "He would win a Gold Glove if he had enough games."
Actually, there is no requirement for games played to win a Gold Glove, so even though Erstad, who opened the season in left field, has started at first base in only 68 of 139 games, he would be eligible for the award.