It’s hard to imagine any player on the 2018 San Francisco Giants as being more emblematic of the words ‘heart and hustle’ than shortstop Brandon Crawford. After enduring a tumultuous year both on and off the field during the Giants’ 98-loss 2017, Crawford has bounced back with a career year, and on Tuesday morning, was named the club’s Heart and Hustle Award winner by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
“Year after year, Brandon comes to play every day, no matter the circumstances,” former utility player and Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens said in a statement. “He really pours his heart into every play every day.”
Last year, Crawford and his family endured two miscarriages, one sister-in-law’s death and another’s coming out as the first public accuser in the Larry Nasser case, all while Crawford hit a struggled to hit .253 with a career-low .305 OBP. This year, Crawford overcame a .189 April to hit .412 in May, earned his first All-Star start and is well on pace for his fourth consecutive Gold Glove. He’s No. 12 in the majors in defensive runs saved and is hitting a career-best .284 with a career-best .356 OBP, while slugging a career-best .449.
The 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.
The release announcing the award detailed the selection process: The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of former 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.
As the season nears its end, fans, all MLB alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners. The final winner will be announced on Nov. 8, 2018 at the 19th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City.Brandon CrawfordMLBSan Francisco Giants