MIAMI -- Juan Pierre was named the Marlins' winner of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's 2013 Heart & Hustle Award. Pierre earned the honor in part for his work with "Beast Mode for Christ," a program that highlights the relationship between athletes and their faith.
"It's a pretty cool award," Pierre said. "I've went about my business my whole career. I go about it not seeking no awards or nothing like this, but to be recognized for it is pretty cool."
Fans, alumni and active players will vote for the overall winner among the 30 club winners near the end of the season. Pierre is aiming to be the first Marlins player to win the overall honor since its creation in 2005.
Pierre said hustle has been paramount to his on-field success.
"That's the only way I could survive in this game," Pierre said. "I wasn't a guy that could just come out here and strap it on and be successful. I had to do everything it took.
"See? I'm not a physical specimen here or nothing. It's something I learned basically from my parents, seeing them go to work hard every day. In the end, they would always tell me, 'If it's anything worth having, you've got to work at it.' I took heart to that, and that's one of the reasons I play the game the way I play it."
Hall of Famer and Miami special instructor Andre Dawson will present Pierre with the Marlins' team honor prior to Saturday's game against the Indians. The club honors are voted on by alumni players who have close ties to their respective teams.
Dawson represents Miami's alumni group that selected Pierre, who is one of 30 active players recognized for "demonstrating a passion for the game of baseball and best embodying the values, spirit and tradition of the game."
"He's been a real big mentor to me," Pierre said of Dawson. "He doesn't say too much, but he's definitely helped me out a lot with little stuff on the field and off the field."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less