The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced today that Adam Jones is the Orioles’ recipient of the 2014 Heart & Hustle Award, which 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 & Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.
“He represents all the best qualities of a teammate and competitor,” Brooks Robinson, Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman and Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association president, said in a statement. “The way he plays the game sets an example for young players to follow.”
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each team is chosen by the committees based on their passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field.
These players will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game.
Later this season, fans, alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners. Previous overall winners include David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012) and Dustin Pedroia (2013).
The final winner will be announced on Nov. 18 at the 15th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York.
Jones is on a roll. In addition to the Heart & Hustle Award, he homered and drove in five runs Saturday night in Oakland, and homered twice and drove in all four of the Orioles’ runs last night in Anaheim.