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Dozier named Heart and Hustle Award winner

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Second baseman Brian Dozier was named the Twins' 2014 Heart and Hustle Award winner, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced Tuesday.

The award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players. One player from each team is chosen by an alumni committee and a final winner will be announced after the season.

Dozier, 27, has been Minnesota's best all-around player this season. He's hitting .234/.333/.420 with a team-leading 18 homers and 16 stolen bases in 96 games, entering Tuesday. He also leads the American League with 71 runs scored.

"If you want a guy with heart and hustle, I'd say Dozier," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He makes one play a night that's spectacular and he did it again last night. He plays the game hard. We have a few guys like that."

Fans, alumni and active players will vote to select this year's overall winner. Previous winners include David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, '07), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Trout (2012) and Dustin Pedroia (2013).

The winner will be announced on Nov. 18 at the 15th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year at 110 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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