The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) has announced that third baseman Pablo Sandovalis the San Francisco Giants’2019 Heart and Hustle Award winner.
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. It’s the only award in baseball voted on by former players.
After returning to San Francisco on a minor league deal following a disastrous stint in Boston that included a season-ending injury in 2016 and concerns over his weight and work ethic, Sandoval has revitalized his career. On a rebuilding Giants team, Sandoval has returned to his role as an energetic leader in the clubhouse, and a mentor for young Latin players.
“[Pablo] has reinvented his career and become an excellent role player,” Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens said in a statement from the MLBPAA. “[He is] always ready to help the team, whatever it takes.”
After hitting .225 in his first half-season back with the Giants in 2017, Sandoval hit .248 with nine homers in 92 games as a reserve in 2018, and this year, he’s hitting .269 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 85 games.
To decide on each team’s award, the MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of Alumni 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.
Sandoval will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game. As the season moves toward its conclusion, fans, all Alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners. The winner will be announced on Nov. 7, 2019 at the 20th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York. No Giants player has won the overall award.