ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays utility man Ben Zobrist said he felt the word "hustle" meant running as hard as possible at all times.
It's that mentality on the diamond that made him the Rays' winner of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award, given to the player who "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game."
"Any time you get nominated for an award, it's because other people think well of you in some regard," Zobrist said. "I feel honored that people think that way about the way I play the game and hopefully the way we all as a team go about our business."
Each team has an award winner who will be recognized at an upcoming game. Near the end of the season, all alumni and active players will vote among the 30 candidates for a final winner, joining the ranks of Torii Hunter, Roy Halladay and Albert Pujols.
"The way the game was played in the past is the reason we still have the game to play today, because those guys played it the right way," Zobrist said. "I feel honored that alumni would think that was about the way I play."