Albies wins 2021 Heart and Hustle Award

November 19th, 2021

ATLANTA -- Braves manager Brian Snitker is far from the only person who has great appreciation for the passion and drive Ozzie Albies has shown throughout his young career.

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced Albies as the overall winner of the 2021 Heart and Hustle Award on Friday. This honor annually recognizes a player who best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game. A committee of former players is used to conduct the balloting.

“I don’t know anybody who has any more fun playing baseball than that kid,” Snitker said earlier this year. “It’s just what he does. He’s a joy to be around.”

Albies helped the Braves win the World Series with both his Gold Glove-caliber defense and his powerful bat. The 24-year-old second baseman hit .259 with 30 homers, 106 RBIs and a .799 OPS while earning his second career All-Star selection and a second Silver Slugger Award. His 77 extra-base hits ranked second in the National League, trailing only NL MVP Bryce Harper’s total (78).

Though he has experienced just three full big league seasons, Albies already owns the Braves record for career home runs (90) by a second baseman. He and Austin Riley this year became the seventh and eighth players in franchise history to enjoy a 30-homer, 100-RBI season at 24 or younger.

Along with being one of the game’s most talented players, Albies also keeps things light in both the clubhouse and on the field. He has been regularly seen conversing with teammates, baserunners and umpires during games.

“If you play the game like Ozzie does, you’re going to play it right,” Snitker said.

Albies recently launched a line of T-shirts. Five percent of every purchase is donated to a charity chosen by fans.

Previous overall Heart and Hustle Award 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), Anthony Rizzo (2015), Todd Frazier (2016), Brett Gardner (2017), Mookie Betts (2018) and Howie Kendrick (2019). No award was presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.