Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson has retired the black game-day glove he used while earning the gold one that defines his status as the slickest fielding pitcher in the AL last season.


“Yeah, I took that one out of circulation,’’ Hellickson said. “I haven’t really done anything with it. It’s just kind of sitting there in my basement, waiting for the trophy to join it.’’


The wait is over.


Hellickson, who tied White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy in the balloting for the award, received his 2012 Gold Glove trophy prior to the start of Sunday’s game against the Indians.


Hellickson, who turns 26 today, became the youngest pitcher to win a Gold Glove since Bret Saberhagen, also 25, won it for the Royals in 1989, and the first to win it within three seasons of reaching the major leagues.


The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year also became only the second pitcher in history, joining Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers, to win both Rookie of the Year and a Gold Glove in his career.


“I watched Greg Maddux (18 Gold Gloves) win all of them, so I’m really honored to win it,” Hellickson said. “It’s something I wasn’t expecting, but it’s an awesome award to win and a real cool-looking trophy.”


Tonight’s start against the Rangers marks the second time in as many years that Hellickson has started a game on his birthday. A year ago on this day, he threw 82/3 scoreless innings to beat the Yankees 3-0.