MLBPAA Announces Mookie Betts as Winner of the 14th Annual Overall Heart and Hustle Award
New York - The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is pleased to announce Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts as the overall winner of the 2018 Heart and Hustle Award. This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by all former players.
A first-time winner of the Boston Red Sox team Heart and Hustle Award, Betts’ four seasons in the majors have been nothing short of stellar, winning two American League Gold Glove Awards, one American League Silver Slugger Award and earning three All-Star appearances. This season, Betts led the American League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.640) and runs scored (129), and was the first player to hit for the cycle, concluding his season with a World Series championship. Beyond the diamond, Betts has contributed to various charities in both Boston and his hometown of Nashville. While Betts has participated in events hosted by the Red Sox Foundation and Jimmy Fund, he has also assisted with youth baseball clinics in the Boston area and competed in charity golf and bowling tournaments, displaying his bowling prowess at an All-Star celebrity event hosted by NBA star Chris Paul. In 2017, Betts partnered with New Era to create a special line of baseball caps honoring the Red Sox and the state of Tennessee with a portion of sales going to two charities that Betts works with: Pitching In for Kids and One Mission. In 2018, Betts gained recognition for distributing hot meals to the homeless outside of the Boston Public Library after winning game two of the World Series.
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees comprised of Alumni players with established relationships to each team. Fans, all alumni and active players vote to select the final winner from 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 announcement was made on November 8,2018 at the 19thAnnual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. The event also honored Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bob Gibson and Brooks Robinson Community Service Award winner Terry Francona. 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, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.
For more information regarding the Heart and Hustle Award, please contact Nikki Warner, Director of Communications by e-mail at Nikki@MLBPAA.com or by calling (719) 477-1870, ext. 105.
To learn more about the MLBPAA, please visit www.baseballalumni.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@MLBPAA).
About The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA)
MLBPAA was founded in 1982 with the mission of promoting baseball, raising money for charity and protecting the dignity of the game through its Alumni players. The MLBPAA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado with a membership of 8,300, of which approximately 6,000 are Alumni and current players. Alumni players find the MLBPAA to be a vital tool to become involved in charity and community philanthropy. Follow @MLBPAA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.
About The Legends for Youth Clinics
MLBPAA’s Legends for Youth clinics impact more than 18,000 children each year, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball. The MLBPAA has reached children across America and internationally in Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, China, Cuba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the United Kingdom and Venezuela, through the Legends for Youth clinic series. To donate to this program, visit baseballalumni.com/donate. The official hashtag of the Legends for Youth Clinic Series is #LFYClinic.