The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced its Heart and Hustle Award recipients Monday for each Major League Baseball team and Chase Utley is the Phillies winner this year.
— MLBPAA (@MLBPAA) July 22, 2014
The award is initially voted on entirely by former players, the only such award in MLB. The Heart and Hustle Award acknowledges players’ contributions both on and off the field. There are 30 committees formed by the MLBPAA close to each MLB team to determine the most outstanding candidate from each team. From here fans, alumni and current players can vote on the final winner of all 30 team winners. The final winner will be announced at the Annual Legends for Youth Dinner held on November 18th in New York City.
Utley has won this award for the Phillies five times, but he has never been the overall winner. The Utley Foundation is his major charitable focus off the field. The foundation raises awareness about animal cruelty. Chase and his wife Jennifer are active in preventing animal mistreatment with many charitable events with The Utley Foundation.
Utley, an All-Star this season, is batting .288 with eight home runs and 46 runs batted in. His wins above replacement is currently 3.0.
Despite the Phillies’ struggles the past few seasons, Utley has remained adamant about wanting to stay in Philadelphia despite trade rumors. The Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants reportedly have interest in trading for Utley.
Current Phillie, Grady Sizemore, won the overall Heart and Hustle award in 2008 with the Cleveland Indians. The only Phillie to win the overall award was Roy Halladay in 2010, his first year with the club. Former Phillie, Hunter Pence, is this year’s winner for the San Francisco Giants.