Arenado honored at Players Choice Awards

Rockies' star wins Always Game Award for 'grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle'

Arenado honored at Players Choice Awards

DENVER -- Fellow Major Leaguers honored Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado with the Majestic Athletic Always Game Award, part of the MLB Players Association's Players Choice Awards, which were announced Wednesday night.

According to the MLBPA, the award goes annually to the player who "game in and game out constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans."

This offseason, Arenado has earned his fifth National league Rawlings Gold Glove Award -- one for each season in the Majors -- and the Fielding Bible Award as the Majors' top third basemen. Arenado also hit .309 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs, to become the first third baseman in history with at least 35 home runs and 130 RBIs in three straight seasons. However, this award is for how Arenado went about putting up the numbers.

"I have a couple buddies and I have a friend that tells me, 'You want to be known as a guy that can play old-school ball,'" Arenado told MLB Network after the award was announced. "That's kind of how I approached it. I'm not really the flashiest guy. I just try to play hard. I want to be known as an old-school baseball player."

Arenado has always been an emotional player, but an incident in 2014 taught him to channel the emotion properly. Frustrated after a hard bouncer to the mound, one that then-Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton bobbled, Arenado dropped his head and jogged to first base. It cost him a possible hit, so then Rockies manager Walt Weiss removed him from the game.

It was a reminder to not let frustration get the better of him.

"Obviously, it was a learning experience," Arenado said. "I was young. I'm still kind of young, but I wasn't really listening. I didn't take things to heart. I've learned what people are trying to tell me and really take it in, and appreciate the help.

"When Walt sat me that day, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it wasn't acceptable and it wasn't fair to the team. That kind of changed a lot about who I was. Obviously, no one likes to get embarrassed. I always tell myself I don't want to get embarrassed like that again."

Arenado's standout year helped the Rockies make the postseason for the first time since 2009. Colorado earned a berth in the NL Wild Card Game, which Arenado homered in, although the Rockies fell, 11-8, to the D-backs.

Arenado's solo smash

"It meant a lot for the city of Denver and for our organization," Arenado said. "We're a young team. We have a young group. We're probably one of the youngest teams out there. To do what we did, it was a special year. Hopefully, we can get better and it will help us in the next years."

Arenado will receive a $10,000 grant for charity. He has not decided what he will do with it, but the donation will be in the Denver area.

Arenado was a finalist for Player of the Year, which went to the Astros' Jose Altuve. Arenado and Rockies teammate Charlie Blackmon were finalists for NL Player of the Year, which went to the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton. Rockies closer Greg Holland was a finalist for the NL Comeback Player Award, which went to the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.