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Published On: November 11th, 2015

Former Express outfielder and pitcher Kole Calhoun today was announced as an American League Gold Glove Award winner by Major League Baseball. His award comes in his fourth big league season and first that he has been healthy and a regular in the Angels lineup.

This season was not the first that Calhoun was recognized for his defensive ability, as he was named a gold glove finalist after the 2014 season. He was beaten out last year by Nick Markakis, then of the Baltimore Orioles. This season, however, he left no doubt as he ranked amongst the league leaders in several defensive categories amongst right fielders. He led the American League in putouts (342), ranked second in fielding percentage (.989), third in outfield assists (11) and tied for fifth in fewest errors (four).

Calhoun’s defensive success is of no surprise to Express fans in the Chippewa Valley after his three years in an Express uniform (2007-2009). He was known during his time in Eau Claire for his strong throwing arm, not only from right field, but also in his prominent role in the bullpen as the team’s closer. Kole’s highlight of his Northwoods League career was in being named co-MVP of the Northwoods League in his first season of 2007.  After his final season in Eau Claire, he returned to Arizona State for his senior season with the Sun Devils. From there, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 8th round of the first-year-player draft. He made his way through the minor league system quickly, being called up to the big leagues in Los Angeles during the 2012 season.

The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit