Indians firstbasemen Mike Napoli isn’t just making an impact crushing homers for the Tribe this season, he’s also making an impact off the field as well.
The Tribe slugger today was named today as the Cleveland Indians 2016 Heart and Hustle Award winner. It’s an award given to a player who demonstrates ‘a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.’
Napoli is having a big season for the Tribe, with 20 homers and 63 runs batted in, including a homer which bounced off the new scoreboard at Progressive Field.
Here’s the official release from Major League Baseball about Napoli being named as the Indians 2016 Heart and Hustle Award winner.
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is pleased to announce Mike Napoli as the Cleveland Indians 2016 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.
“Mike is always focused on all aspects of the game,” said Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo. “He looks to take the extra base or advance on a ball in the dirt. He is a winning player.”
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 the final winner from the 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) and Anthony Rizzo (2015).
The final winner will be announced on November 15,2016 at the 17th 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 15,000 children each year at 150 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.