The all-time Gold Glove team

BOB ELLIOTT

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

To celebrate the golden anniversary of its Gold Glove team, Rawlings is asking fans to vote for an all-time team.

Call it the Golden Golden team.

One of the more interesting races in the balloting will be at shortstop, where Ozzie Smith leads Omar Vizquel by a wide margin. But should he?

Smith, the ex-St. Louis Cardinal known for his pre-game back flips, won 13 Gold Gloves, including his final one at age 37 in 1992.

Vizquel, who showed he can still pick 'em, leap in the air or make off-balance throws for the San Francisco Giants against the Blue Jays this past week, has won 11. Vizquel won the honour at ages 38 and 39 the past two seasons.

And he could win again this season at age 40, putting him only one behind the Wizard.

It is an intriguing question. Who is the all-time best defensive shortstop you ever saw?

Let's go down to field level for the experts who saw both: Jays manager John Gibbons: "I saw more of Smith in his prime, so I'd go with him. He always played well against us (the New York Mets)."

Bench coach Ernie Whitt: "They're both outstanding, but I'd take Ozzie. You won't go wrong with either. I can't think of a pitcher who wouldn't want either playing behind him."

Jays infielder John McDonald: "I love Omar and I played with him in Cleveland, but I'd say Smith. I had the numbers in front of me once. Ozzie made more errors, but he had more chances. If Ozzie is a Hall of Famer, I would say Omar is, too. I saw Omar every day and he was almost perfect."

Jays shortstop Royce Clayton: "I think it's Omar. He has the higher fielding percentage."

Vizquel entered the season with a .984 fielding percentage, while Smith retired with a .978 mark. And McDonald is right. Smith handled 12,905 total chances, making 281 errors, while Vizquel had 10,831 chances, committing 172 errors.

Who we'd pick for our all-time Golden Golden team:

Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Jim Kaat, Greg Maddux. Our pick: Maddux.

Catcher: Johnny Bench, Bill Freehan, and Ivan Rodriguez. Our pick: Bench.

First base: Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly and Wes Parker. Our pick: Hernandez.

Second base: Robbie Alomar, Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg. Our pick: Alomar.

Third base: Brooks Robinson, Scott Rolen and Mike Schmidt. Our pick: Robinson.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Smith and Vizquel. Our pick: Smith.

Outfielders: Paul Blair, Roberto Clemente, Andre Dawson, Jim Edmonds, Dwight Evans, Curt Flood, Ken Griffey, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Al Kaline, Garry Maddox, Willie Mays, Kirby Puckett, Ichiro Suzuki, Larry Walker, Devon White, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski. Our picks: Mays, Clemente, Kaline, White, Dawson, Hunter, Jones, Walker and Puckett.

Alomar, with 10 Gold Gloves, and White, with seven, are the only Jays to make the all-time ballot. Shortstop Tony Fernandez (a four-time winner), outfielder Vernon Wells (three) or outfielder Jesse Barfield (two), are the only Jays to win more than one.

You can compare fielding numbers among the candidates and vote at the website RawlingsGoldGlove.com.

RUNNERS-UP

Our runners-up for Canadian player of the week are Vancouver's Adam Daniels, who had two wins for class-A Palm Beach (Cards) beating Clearwater and Tampa, allowing five runs in 13 innings, while striking out 11; Jimmy Van Ostrand of Richmond, B.C., who hit .462 at class-A Lexington (Astros) and Saunders' teammate Reed Eastley of Brandon, Man., who hit .357.

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QUICK HITS

TEAM MEETING PROPELS YANKS

Many of the Yankees pitchers have recovered from early in the season when it looked as if most of them were given a hamstring injury along with their uniform.

The Yanks have now won nine in a row going into the Mets series last night. They're hitting again, but a lot of people are pointing to a 50-minute team meeting they had May 28 in Toronto.

HOW 'BOUT THEM JAYS

Creighton University is the first Blue Jays team to win a baseball title this season. The Nebraska school went 45-16 to win the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Johns Hopkins (Md.) University Blue Jays had a 38-11 season. The Elizabethtown (Penn.) College Blue Jays were 23-18. The Westminster (Mo.) College Blue Jays finished 15-21 and the Tabor (Kan.) College Bluejays had a 17-25 record.

FURTHER DRAFT REVIEWS

Three Canadians were selected among the first 56 players chosen and six in the first 200 in the June draft, which is impressive. When fourth-rounder Mitch Hodge of Vancouver signed with Kansas City it made nine Canadians who have signed already, including five by the Brewers: Chris Dennis, of Amhersturg, Ont., Toronto's Cam Robulack, Adam Arnold of London, Ryan Jensen of Langley, B.C. and Travis Nevakshonoff of Castlegaar, B.C. Robulack received a $50,000 US signing bonus. Mississauga's Jordan Wideman signed with the Reds. Henry Mabee of Victoria, B.C., signed with the White Sox and lefty Kai Tuomi of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. signed with the Nationals.

MEA KULPA

Ron Kulpa was the plate ump when A's Shannon Stewart singled with two out in the ninth inning to break up Curt Schilling's no-hit bid on June 7. Kulpa told his father and crewmates he'd never get that close again. Then, on Tuesday he worked the plate as Justin Verlander pitched his no-hitter for the Tigers over the Brewers.

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THE BOOK ON ...

Nationals pitching coach RANDY ST. CLAIRE

What a major-league scout says: "I saw the Nationals in the spring and I thought with that pitching staff they had zero hope. They were going to lose 100 for sure and have the worst ERA in the league.

"Guess what? I was wrong. They just swept the Orioles and have three less losses than the Marlins going into the weekend. You have to give some of the credit to the pitching coach.

"St. Claire came up in the Expos organization and he learned a thing or two. He's one of the better pitching coaches in the league and not everyone knows it."

Rating out of five: 4

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MADE IN CANADA

High Desert Mavericks outfielder MICHAEL SAUNDERS

Michael Saunders was an 11th-round choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2004 and is our Canadian minor leaguer for a second time.

This past week at class-A High Desert, the Victoria, B.C., outfielder hit .484 (15-for-31) with four homers and 12 RBIs. Saunders was signed by scout Wayne Norton of Port Moody, B.C.

Saunders was eighth on the latest Baseball America hot prospect list of minor leaguers and for a second time was the California League's offensive player of the month.

AVG. HR RBI

.307 10 50

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FARM REPORT

CANNON HAS LOST THAT POP

Chip Cannon led the Eastern League with 27 home runs at double-A New Hampshire in the 2006 season. This season he's hitting .206 with nine homers and 25 RBIs at New Hampshire. Minor leaguers don't like repeating, but this looks like the proper call. This month the Arizona Fall League' most valuable player is hitting .184. Cannon, 25, has struck out 87 times, the most in the minors. He has nine three-strikeout games.

CALI TALK

While the money has not yet been made public, ninth-round pick Marcus Walden was pleased to sign with the Jays. Walden told the Fresno Bee that he signed a contract for a bonus in the "low six figures" with "money slotted 30 picks higher." The commissioner's office has insisted draft picks sign for slot money (A gets $x, B gets $x minus, etc.) At Fresno City, he was 5-1 with three saves, a 3.67 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 341/3 innings. Walden says the Jays want him to start ... Sacred Heart righty Jay Monti was the Jays' 25th pick. He was 8-4 with a 1.34 ERA and was named to the All-Northeast Conference first team. ... Right-hander Ross Buckwalter of Shippensburg University was signed by Jays scout Tom Burns. Buckwalter, 5-2 with a 2.85 earned-run average, was selected in the 26th round. ... The Jays were the first team to stop selecting in the draft quitting with selections after 30 rounds of the 50-round draft.

ADAMS GOES DEEP

Former No. 1 pick Russ Adams hit his eighth homer as triple-A Syracuse lost 12-6 to Toledo on Thursday. The second baseman also singled and is now hitting .258. Kevin Barker added his seventh homer.

YATES KEEPS WINNING

Kyle Yates won his fourth consecutive decision with seven scoreless innings as New Hampshire edged Akron 2-1 at Manchester, N.H. Yates allowed five hits.

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MY GREATEST DAY ...

Long-time broadcaster VIN SCULLY recalls a shining moment on the diamond

Scully has been broadcasting Dodger games for the past 57 seasons.

His best day in baseball?

"It would have to be Oct. 4, 1955," Scully said. "I was much younger and more impressionable. It wasn't for anything I did. That was the day Johnny Podres pitched a 2-0 shutout for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series."

Podres allowed eight hits to finally give the Dodgers a Series win. They'd lost in the 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953 Series. Each time to the Yanks.

"I had a wonderful feeling for those players to have come so close so many times to see them finally win. Podres, Don Zimmer and Ed Roebuck were always together.

"I've called something like 25 no-hitters, I've split infinitives and I've dangled plenty of participles over the years calling thousands of games, but that was the most memorable day in baseball for me."

Scully, 69, was named the Ford C. Frick winner in 1982, still broadcasts all nine innings of Dodgers home games.

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HOT PROSPECT

Giants RHP CHRIS BEGG

W L ERA K BB

5 1 3.28 17 8

Chris Begg threw the first nine-inning shutout in the triple-A Pacific Coast League as Fresno blanked Las Vegas 3-0. The Uxbridge, Ont. right-hander allowed only three hits while walking one and striking out four. The 6-foot-4, 195 pounder was called up by the Grizzlies from double-A Connecticut when Tim Lincecum was promoted.

Rating out of five: 3

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2 -- Errors by San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Tuesday, after having one in the first 62 games of the season.

18 -- Strikeouts by Houston Astros pitchers on Tuesday against the A's, the most for the Houston staff since striking out an National League-record 23 in a 1-0, 16-inning loss at Wrigley Field on May 31, 2003

619 -- At-bats between homers for Oakland catcher Jason Kendall, who homered Wednesday in Houston. Kendall, who had three hits, had not homered in 157 games, the second-longest streak in the majors, before his shot into the short porch in left


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