When look up the word bounceback in the dictionary, you just might happen to see a picture of Jason Heyward on the page. The former All-Star was years removed from glory when the Dodgers came calling in the offseason. He had been released by the Chicago Cubs in the middle of the 2022 season, with the club eating $30 million in salary to get him off the roster for the rest of that year and this year.
He signed a minor league deal with LA in December and immediately set to work rebuilding his game and his swing from the ground up.
Flash forward nine months later and he’s putting together arguably his most productive season as a big leaguer at the age of 34. Beyond his play on the field, the 14-year MLB veteran has been a rock and unquestioned leader in the Dodgers clubhouse. And for all of his efforts and great teamwork, his teammates rewarded him on Friday with the organization’s highest honor.
He was named this year’s Roy Campanella Award winner, an award given out since 2006 to the player “who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.”
The award is voted on by all Dodgers uniformed personnel, players, and coaches, including his best friend and long-time teammate Freddie Freeman, last years recipient of the award.
“All that negative stuff, you can just throw away because when you know Jason, it’s only going to be positive because he is such a wonderful human,” Freeman said to Dodger Insider magazine. “What he does in the city, the inner cities, what he’s still doing in Chicago, if mean things are coming out of your mouth about Jason, you need to re-evaluate your own life. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten to be teammates again…I get to see him every day now. And I’m just having a blast.”Via Dodger Insider
Heyward is hitting .275 this season with 37 extra base hits, 40 runs batted in and a .843 OPS in 117 games.
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