Yankees Brett Gardner wins Heart and Hustle Award

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Though Yankees left-fielder Brett Gardner missed out on a second straight American League Gold Glove, he did take home the prestigious Heart & Hustle Award on Tuesday night.

During the 18th annual Legends for Youth Dinner on Tuesday evening in Manhattan, the Major League Baseball Alumni Association awarded Yankees veteran Brett Gardner with the Heart & Hustle Award.

The prestigious accolade honors the top overall professional baseball player that embodies the values, traditions and spirit of the game.

Voted on by the players, one chosen representative from each of MLB’s 30 teams is selected before an overall winner is named. This is Gardy’s first time winning.

For his part, Gardner has been the Yankees’ representative in 2010, 2013-2015 and 2017.

A shining example of playing with hustle and passion, the self-proclaimed family man gave thanks to his father for teaching him the game and wife for pushing him to strive for more each and every day.

Gardner, the 10-year veteran, had a stellar season, hitting .264/.350/.428 with 21 homers, 64 RBI and 96 runs scored. As for the defensive side of things, how zero errors work for you?

With only one-year remaining on his Yankees’ contract, Gardner is focused on his immediate future, which includes leading an exciting young ball club back to the postseason. Per MLB.com:

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"“I’m going to continue to work hard and play hard and play the game as long as I’m able to,” he said. “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 will keep working hard to get the most out of it that I can.“Overall we’ve got a pretty good team,” he said. “We’ve got some young guys who have just burst upon the scene. Aaron Judge winning Rookie of the Year and MVP consideration. Luis Severino, one of the top guys for Cy Young. We’ve got a lot of bright young talent and it’s going to be an exciting year.”"

The 34-year-old Gardner will be entering spring training with a manager other than Joe Girardi for the first time in his career.

Having won a World Series ring under the guidance of Girardi, Gardner says he will miss the man he went to battle with but believes general manager Brian Cashman is going to make the right choice for a new skipper soon enough.

While this could cause a sense of uncertainty to creep up on a team that defied expectations in 2017, it will be up to Gardner and a few of the other remaining veterans to calm any turbulent waters, well before camp gets underway in mid-February.

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Regardless, Gardy is excited about the direction of the team and all that 2018 has to offer.