Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Baseball players have lives outside of the sport. New York Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner is spending his offseason doing good in his home state.

Brett Gardner represents a lot of things to the New York Yankees. He represents hustle, running out every play and giving his all on the field. He’s a great communicator with the tough New York media. He truly does it all.

And he continues to impress this offseason. No, he’s not working on sprinting on the beach like a Cy Young award candidate. He’s also not hitting up the gym and posting about it on social media. Instead, Gardner is taking his star power to the Medical University of South Carolina to meet with patients.

Gardner and his wife Jessica visited several children at the MUSC Children’s Hospital on Friday afternoon, signing autographs and taking pictures with many of them. This isn’t the first time the outfielder has made this type of trip.

Gardner, a walk-on at the College of Charleston, has always had a soft spot in his heart for donating to children’s hospitals across the globe. In fact, earlier this season, Gardner donned a couple of pairs of cleats to be auctioned off to benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital and the Pediatric Cancer Research Center there.

You also might recall a little story of Brett Gardner visiting a patient at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in 2009. You know, the one who gave him a lucky bracelet and resulted in him hitting an inside-the-park home run.

It’s great to see Yankees players doing something other than playing baseball and being more involved in the community. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll see of Gardner visiting children’s hospitals.

The longest tenured Yankees player is just showing us that baseball is important but helping others is even more important. That’s our Heart & Hustle award winner!

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.