mets giants
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Pillar named the Mets’ winner of the prestigious award.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced each team’s winners of the 2021 Heart and Hustle Award.

The award, which is marking it’s 16th annual winners (with the exception of 2020), is the only award in MLB that is voted on by former players; voting is conducted before the All-Star break.

The Heart and Hustle Award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.

The New York Mets winner is outfielder Kevin Pillar.

On May 17, Pillar was hit in the face with a fastball in Atlanta. He left the team as the Mets went to Miami to travel back to New York, where he underwent surgery to repair his broken nose.

Doctors told him he could be ready to return in 10 days, which he did.

Current Mets second baseman Javier Báez was named the winner for the Chicago Cubs.

You can view the entire list of team winners here.

The overall winner will be announced mid-November on MLB Network. Because of the pandemic, the award was not given out in 2020. All alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner.

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.