CLEVELAND -- With so many awards being received by so many players, it might be easy to believe that such honors are taken for granted.
That's not how Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis feels about the Heart and Hustle Award. After being presented with the same award last year, Kipnis was selected as the Indians' winner this season, too. Before Friday's game against Texas, alumni players Terry Francona (Cleveland's manager) and Sandy Alomar Jr. (Cleveland's bench coach) presented Kipnis with the 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."
"It's just kind of credit to the way I play the game, the way I was taught to play the game -- running out the balls, talking, being a good teammate, being involved in the game," Kipnis said Saturday. "If that's what it entails to win that award, that's an award I'm going to be trying to win for years to come."
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association decides which player from each of the 30 teams will receive the award. One of those players will become the final winner, which will be announced on Nov. 19 at the 14th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. Former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore was named the overall winner in 2008.
Kipnis would love to take home that honor in 2013. The first-time All-Star entered Saturday with a .296/.376/.514 line with 15 homers and 62 RBIs. He is also 21-for-27 in stolen-base attempts.
"There's definitely other good candidates on this team. The fact that they picked me does mean a lot," Kipnis said. "It's gratifying. It's gratifying to receive that award. It's gratifying to be acknowledged for your hustle and all the stuff like that, so it's awesome."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.