The best thing about Dan Uggla is that he's the same guy he was on July 4, the day before his 33-game hitting streak began.

His batting average then was .173.

"I told him in Washington DC, and I meant it — you've earned so much respect from me and the rest of the team," Atlanta Braves catcher David Ross said Saturday night, recalling a conversation that took place with his teammate in early August.

"He has gone about his business day in and day out, never loafed one ground ball, never taken an at-bat out to the field. You can't teach that. That's character. And it's hard to find in this game."

Ross knows what it is like to bat .200 — he hit .203 for the Cincinnati Reds in 2007 and recalls it as a "mental grind." But Uggla, through all his struggles, continued running hard to first, diving for balls at second, saying and doing all the right things.

I saw Uggla in Philadelphia shortly before the All-Star break, when his streak was only a few days old. He told me that he didn't care how his final numbers turned out. He wasn't going to allow his season-long slump to affect him in the clubhouse, wasn't going to act selfishly and separate himself from his teammates.