Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner has been named the Dodgers’ 2017 Heart and Hustle Award winner.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 18, 2017
For those of you that are unfamiliar with what the Heart and Hustle Award is, it is an award given out by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA).
Created by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in 2005, the Heart & Hustle Award is voted on by Alumni and active Major League players and is presented annually to an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.
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 the 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 the final winner from the 30 team winners.
The Dodgers’ list of Heart and Hustle award winners since the award came about in 2005 are:
Eric Gagne (2006), Russell Martin (2007, 2008, 2009), Matt Kemp (2010), Jamey Carroll (2011), Jerry Hairston Jr. (2012), Nick Punto (2013), Dee Gordon (2014), Joc Pederson (2015), Chase Utley (2016).
No Dodger has ever won the Heart and Hustle Award out of all of the nominees from each Major League Baseball team.
Justin Turner embodies hard work, passion and a desire to play the game of baseball, making him a great fit for this award. After being released by the New York Mets early in his career, he has come to Los Angeles and is one of the most feared hitter in the league.
Turner is nearing the threshold that would make him eligible for the batting title. He currently sits at a .374/.469/.584 slash line. Once he becomes qualified, he would be leading the league in batting average and on base percentage.