Midway through the 2008 season, Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made his first All-Star Game mostly on the basis of his bat. He finished the year hitting 36 home runs with 119 RBIs and a .279 batting average.
After the season, the Eastlake High alum collected his first Gold Glove Award for his ability to scoop up balls as well as throw out runners.
In both cases, Gonzalez credits his older brothers for his baseball ability. David Gonzalez played at Point Loma Nazarene College and Edgar joined him on the Padres this year for his first big league season.
Both David and Edgar Gonzalez were middle infielders, so when they wanted to practice taking ground balls, they dragged Adrian along to the local diamond to field their throws.
"I would never say I'm better than them," Adrian said. "How can you say you're better than someone you learned the game from?" It is a statement of the bond between the brothers, even if Padres fans and baseball fans in general find it easy to say.
Gonzalez is the 10th Padre to win a Gold Glove, but he's the only first baseman in the franchise's history.