On the eve of what could be his first National League Most Valuable Player Award, Paul Goldschmidt Wednesday added another piece of hardware in a busy awards season for the 35-year-old.
Goldschmidt was announced as the winner of the Heart and Hustle Award, which honors an active player who embodies the passion, spirit, values, and traditions of baseball. He has been nominated for the award five times prior to this season.
He is the third Cardinal to receive the award since it was established in 2005 by the MLB Players Alumni Association. The other two are recently retired Albert Pujols in 2009 and 2006 World Series MVP David Ecksteinwho was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005.
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Over the past month, Goldschmidt earned his second NL Hank Aaron Award as the league’s best hitter, fifth Silver Slugger—the most ever by a baseman since the award was created in 1980—and a players’ selection as the NL’s Most Valuable Player.
Goldschmidt is one of three finalists for NL MVP and is the favorite before the results are announced Thursday night. his teammate Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado of San Diego are the other two finalists.
Goldschmidt led the NL in OPS (981), OPS+ (180), slugging percentage (. 578), baseball reference count for offensive wins over replacement (7.5), and in weighted run plus (wRC+) with 177, according to FanGraphs (100 wRC+ considered league average).
His 115 RBIs were second only to a Mets slugger Alonso House131, and in his games he was 63 points higher than the closest player in the National League.
Tickets on sale for Cardinals, Cubs in London
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that ticket sales for the upcoming London Summer Series between the Cardinals and Cubs will be open to the public on December 6.
Longtime NL Central rivals will play a two-legged series at the London Stadium – home of Premier League West Ham United – from June 24-25. The Cardinals will be the home team for both games.
Starting Wednesday, fans can also register for access to the pre-sale, which opens November 30.
St. Louis and Chicago were originally scheduled to play in London in 2020, but that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019 Yankees and Red Sox series of games introduced the first games played by MLB teams in London as the league looks to expand its presence across Europe.
Cardinals to face the Nicaraguan team
With the return of the World Baseball Classic in 2023, the Cardinals will be part of Team Nicaragua’s preparations for their debut in the International Baseball Series.
St. Louis will play a spring training exhibition game against Team Nicaragua on March 9 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. It will be one of 20 exhibition games that will feature WBC national teams and MLB clubs.
The Roger Dean Complex will also be the training site for Team Israel. Team USA, which will have Goldschmidt and Arenado on its roster, will play exhibitions in the Cactus League against the Giants on March 8 and the Angels on March 9.
The Puerto Rican team, which will be managed by recently retired catcher Yadier Molina, will play Boston on March 8 and Tampa Bay on March 9.
The fifth WBC begins March 11 with pool games in Phoenix, Arizona, and Miami, Florida.