May 19, 2024

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Marcus Semien’s Chip on His Shoulder Leads to Heart & Hustle Award Win

It’s been an incredible past few weeks for Texas Rangers superstar Marcus Semien. Not only has the 33-year-old infielder won the first World Series title of his career, but his individual efforts day in and day out have now been honored by the MLBPAA (Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association) with the 2023 Heart & Hustle Award.

“The wins keep coming for Marcus Semien, who has been named the recipient of the 2023 @MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award! The World Series champ and AL MVP finalist joined us to highlight the pride he takes in posting up every day, playing the game the right way and more.” – @MLBNetwork

The Heart & Hustle Award is not something that is decided by year-end statistics, but the way that the winner played throughout the year. The MLBPAA determined that Marcus Semien was the perfect candidate to win the award based on his passion for the game.

Another determining factor for the voters is whether or not the finalists embody the traditions, values, and spirit of the game of baseball. Semien’s ability to be present for the Texas Rangers all season, not only helped the club win the World Series, but he also set an MLB record for the most plate appearances in a season with 835 total.

In a recent interview on the MLB Network, Semien explained that he has felt throughout his entire career that he was never the strongest or fastest player, which is why he puts in the work every game. “I do feel like the underdog at times,” Semien explained, saying that even in college he felt that he didn’t have the natural attributes to reach a superstar level.

After being taken in the 6th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, success did not come immediately for Semien. It’s been a slow burn for the infielder, however, he has been worth the wait.

“Over the course of his career, Marcus Semien has spent time with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers. In that span, Semien has continually improved every season, earning two All-Star selections, two Silver Slugger Awards, a Gold Glove Award, a World Series title, and now Marcus Semien was named the 2023 Heart & Hustle Award winner.”