New York Yankees: Brett Gardner Takes Home Coveted Heart & Hustle Award
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees rounds third base on his way to score on a double by Aaron Judge #99 during the third inning against the Houston Astros in Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It may not be a Gold Glove but this award might be more important for Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees.

Yesterday it was announced that the American League Rookie of the Year went to Aaron Judge. Tonight, another major award was given to a New York Yankee.

Brett Gardner was awarded the Heart & Hustle award from the Major League Baseball’s Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) at the 18th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in Manhattan.

What a well-deserved honor to the guy who has been selected as the Yankees’ team winner in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. This is his first time being selected as the overall winner by the MLBPAA.

Gardner, who batted .264 with 21 home runs and 63 RBIs, showed plenty of grit during his impressive season in 2017, including several clutch home runs and that one at-bat that we’ll be talking about for ages from the ALDS. Don’t remember? Here’s the video.

Whether it was stealing a base, legging out triples or taking extra bases on slight miscues from the opponent, Brett Gardner showed hustle every day on the field, not once letting anyone question his dedication to the game.

“I’m going to continue to work hard and play hard and play the game as long as I’m able to,” Gardner told the media, as reported by Mark Newman of ESPN. “Whether it’s one more year, two more years or four or five more years, I’ve been blessed with being in New York the last 10 years. I think everybody who knows me knows I am working hard to get the most out of it that I can.”

What a guy. Gardner has given Yankees fans more than they could ask for and is the first Yankees player to be recognized for it with the overall Heart & Hustle Award in its 12-year existence.

Congratulations to the 34-year-old Yankee who was a walk-on for his college baseball team. Just goes to show what a lot of heart and a whole lot of hustle can do for you.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.