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Schumaker wins award, announces charity initiative

MILWAUKEE -- Outfielder/second baseman Skip Schumaker was named on Tuesday as the club's winner of the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award. Given by the Major League Players Alumni Association each year, the award honors players "who demonstrate a passion for the game and best embody the values, spirits and tradition of the game.

The overall winner among the 30 club nominees will be announced on Nov. 18 in New York.

"I was pumped," Schumaker said. "I feel like I try to play the game the right way and go about my business the right way, on and off the field. I think that award represents that. I'm honored and humbled I was even considered for that."

Also on Tuesday, Schumaker announced a charity initiative through which fans can join a fantasy football league composed of Reds players. The fund-raiser will be held on Aug. 27 in Great American Ball Park's Champions Club from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to team with Schumaker or teammates including Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, Jonathan Broxton, Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier, Sean Marshall, Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey.

Ten players from around the league are hosting similar events. The idea came from Schumaker and Adam Wainwright when the two were teammates on the Cardinals.

"Adam and I are passionate about fantasy football. We love fantasy football," Schumaker said. "I have a belt, Adam doesn't. Every team has 10 to 12 players that are super-excited. We ... thought we'd have fans come together and play with Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier and be in a league."

The entry fees are $2,500 per person and $1,000 for a co-owner. Fans can register at Participants will receive a tour of the ballpark and Reds Hall of Fame, lunch, the draft, an autograph signing by a Reds Hall of Famer, a batting practice viewing and tickets to that night's game vs. the Cubs.

"It's 100 percent charitable and a lot of fun. We're really excited about it," Schumaker said.

Proceeds from the event will go toward Schumaker's charity, the Jessie Rees Foundation for children battling cancer; the Reds Community Fund; Cincinnati Children's Hospital; and Wainwright's cause, Operation Food Search and Water Missions International.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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