The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association on Tuesday afternoon announced Matt Kemp as the Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 Heart and Hustle Award winner. This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.
“We are proud to present Matt with this award,” said MLBPAA Chief Executive Officer Dan Foster. “He always has a great attitude and plays hard every day.”
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each Major League team 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, fans, all Alumni and active players will vote to select one final winner from all 30 team winners. The previous overall winners are 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), Anthony Rizzo (2015), Todd Frazier (2016) and Brett Gardner (2017).
The final winner will be announced on November 8, 2018 at the 19th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 18,000 children each year at 185 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.
(Lauren Douglas furnished the information provided in this report)