Albert Pujols, Todd Helton, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixiera, what do they all have in common? They can all flat out hit, hit for power and are RBI machines. But, what do you not know about these guys? Since 2001 they have a combined 10 Gold Gloves between them. Not too shabby for a handful of MLB hitters who are the best of the best. They became the best because the intently worked on the finer points of first base play. Yes, it probably was their bats that got them to the big leagues and it is their bats that will afford them long, distinguished careers in the big leagues, but what separates these players from the rest is their ability to play first base day in and day out.
A day in the life of becoming a Gold Glove First Baseman does not start with the bat, it starts with the acceptance of taking to first base as your opportunity to shine at a position that is vastly underrated. Just what does it take? There are a plethora of situations that most first baseman would never consider when it comes to learning the position. One needs to be athletic and agile around the base. With this comes good feet and the ability to use the base and the surrounding to their advantage. One needs to be able to read throws and make plays on balls in the dirt on under thrown balls, this is where pick and dig work is needed on a daily basis.