BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – All-Star Paul Goldschmidt would be the last one to talk about All-Star Paul Goldschmidt; he just won’t do it. He’ll deflect all the attention away from him, and onto the Arizona Diamondbacks before he’ll take individual credit after a win, or even playing in the All-Star Game for the second straight year.
Goldschmidt is clearly having an MVP-type season. He’s second in the Majors in batting average (.341), third in on-base percentage (.454), fourth in slugging (.604), second in OPS (1.058), tied for 10th in home runs (21) and tied for first in RBI (72). Goldschmidt is also tied for 10th with 17 stolen bases.
All those numbers show is a person in Goldschmidt who will do whatever it takes to make sure the Diamondbacks come away victorious on a nightly basis.
That hard work and leadership Goldschmidt is displaying hasn’t gone unnoticed by those who are on the outside looking in.
On Tuesday, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced that Goldschmidt is the Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 Heart and Hustle Award winner. This award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.
The Heart and Hustle Award is the only award in Major League Baseball to be voted on by former players.
“In every way, on and off the field, he (Goldschmidt) demonstrates the attributes defined by this award,” Arizona Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony LaRussa said.
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.
Goldschmidt will be recognized for his achievement at an upcoming home game.
As the season comes to a close, fans, all Alumni and active players will vote to determine the final winner from all 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) and Josh Harrison (2014).
The final winner will be announced on November 10, 2015 at the 16th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year at 120 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.