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Norris named Padres' Heart and Hustle winner

SAN DIEGO -- The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced Tuesday that catcher Derek Norris is the San Diego Padres' 2015 Heart and Hustle Award winner.

The award honors players who "demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game" and is the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players.

Norris entered the clubhouse before Tuesday's game against the San Francisco Giants unaware he been given the honor.

"I guess any time you have the opportunity to represent your team in any way possible, it's a good thing," Norris said. "Being able to represent San Diego and the Padres organization for something is an honor. I think any time you are recognized in this game full of a bunch of talented players and any time you get to represent your whole team in something, it's definitely an honor."

Norris has had a fairly grueling season at the catcher position. The 26-year-old missed the cut for the All-Star Game this year, but said Friday that he felt rested after the break heading into the second half of the season. Norris leads the league this season in CCS (catcher caught stealing) with 26.

Norris said the award is something he will be able to look back on and be proud of.

"It's good to be represented in any facet. That's something I try to pride myself on -- playing the game the right way and playing it hard, and it's a good thing when you are recognized for something like that."

The Padres will honor Norris with an on-field ceremony at Petco Park on Aug. 17 as the team faces the Brewers.

The final winner for the Heart and Hustle Award will be announced Nov. 10 at the 16th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. The event is a fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth baseball clinics.

Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for
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