Gregorius Yanks’ nominee for Heart & Hustle Award
Didi Gregorius is the Yankees’ nominee for the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award presented annually by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. The organization announced the 30 nominees, one from each club, Tuesday for the award which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. The award is also the only award in MLB that is voted on by former players. Voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.
Gregorius is enjoying a breakout season this year. In his second season with the Yankees, who acquired him in a three-club trade from the Diamondbacks which sent pitcher Shane Greene to the Tigers, Gregorius entered play Tuesday night against the Orioles batting .296 with 18 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 41 RBI. Over his past 28 games since June 14, Gregorius has hit .352 with 21 runs, eight doubles, one triple, seven homers and 20 RBI in 108 at-bats to raise his season batting average 30 points. He is batting .370 in 81 at-bats against left-handed pitchers, the highest average in the majors for a left-handed batter against lefty pitching.
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of Alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each major league club is chosen by the committees based on their passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field. These players will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game.
As the season draws to a close, all Alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team representatives. The previous overall winners were David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014) and Anthony Rizzo (2015).
The final winner will be announced Nov. 15 at the 17th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year at 150 clinics, allowing them the opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.
The 30 individual team winners:
Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Chicago White Sox: Todd Frazier
Cleveland Indians: Mike Napoli
Detroit Tigers: Ian Kinsler
Houston Astros: George Springer
Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Kole Calhoun
Minnesota Twins: Eduardo Nuñez
New York Yankees: Didi Gregorius
Oakland Athletics: Marcus Semien
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz
Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Forsythe
Texas Rangers: Ian Desmond
Toronto Blue Jays: Kevin Pillar
Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves: Nick Markakis
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
Cincinnati Reds: Zack Cozart
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chase Utley
Miami Marlins: Marcell Ozuna
Milwaukee Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy
New York Mets: Curtis Granderson
Philadelphia Phillies: Andres Blanco
Pittsburgh Pirates: David Freese
San Diego Padres: Jon Jay
San Francisco Giants: Brandon Crawford
St. Louis Cardinals: Stephen Piscotty
Washington Nationals: Daniel Murphy