Barney beat out Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds for the National League award voted on by major league managers and coaches. Phillips won the last two NL Gold Glove Awards and three of the last four at second.
"It's something you came into the season working toward but I didn't think the results would be there as quickly as they were," said Barney, in just his third full season as a second baseman after moving over from shortstop. "There was a lot of good competition and I'm happy it happened for me. It's an exciting night."
Barney went 141 consecutive games without an error this season, matching the mark by Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers in 2007. Barney already had set the NL single-season mark at second previously held by the San Diego Padres' David Eckstein (113 games).
Barney also holds the all-time NL mark at second base, passing Ryne Sandberg's previous record of 123 games between the 1989 and 1990 seasons. In fact, Sandberg sent Barney a congratulatory text late in the season for his defensive accomplishments.
"He told me how proud he was and wouldn't have anybody but me (passing his streak)," Barney said. "It was a nice text."
Barney becomes the fourth Cubs second baseman to win a Gold Glove after Sandberg (1983-91), Glenn Beckert (1968) and Ken Hubbs (1962). He is also the first member of the Cubs to win a Gold Glove at any position since Derrek Lee in 2007.
Barney's defensive accomplishments this past season were well earned. While committing just two errors at second base, he also had 5.18 total chances per nine innings and 2.2 putouts per nine innings, both of which led major league second basemen. His 731 total chances at second base were third in the NL.
As his success continued this season, Barney gave much of the credit for his improvement to Cubs infield coach Pat Listach. On the last day of the season, though, Listach was informed he would not return in 2013. Barney wasn't looking at his honor as bittersweet, though.
"There is a place for Pat at the big league level," Barney said. "I'm not worried for him at all. Unfortunately his time in Chicago is done now, but that relationship between him and me is not over. He's a great coach."