The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is pleased to announce Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies as the overall winner of the 2021 Heart and Hustle Award. This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by all former players.
A first-time winner of the Atlanta Braves team Heart and Hustle Award, the 24-year-old Curaçaoan played a critical role in the Braves’ road to the 2021 World Series championship. During the Braves 2021 season, Albies recorded 163 hits, 106 RBI and 30 home runs, earning him his second All-Star appearance and Silver Slugger award. Throughout his five years in the majors, Albies has appeared in 560 games, collecting 613 hits and 90 home runs. Off the field, Albies continues to give back to his home island during the annual Curaçao Baseball Week, a week giving back to the community and the children of Curaçao. In May of 2021, Albies launched a line of t-shirts, where five percent of every purchase is donated to a charity chosen by fans.
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees comprised of Alumni players with established relationships to each team. Fans, all alumni and active players vote to select the final winner from 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), 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.
For more information regarding the Heart and Hustle Award, please contact Nikki Warner, Director of Communications by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (719) 477-1870, ext. 105.