St. Marys – The 2012 James “Tip” O’Neill Award will be presented to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) on Friday, April 19 during a pre-game ceremony at The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
The Tip O’Neill Award is presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to the player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.
Last season, Votto was selected to his third consecutive all-star game and registered more walks (94) and doubles (44) than any other Canadian. He also tied for the National League lead and placed second respectively in those two offensive categories and topped the Senior Circuit in intentional walks with 18 – all of this despite missing seven weeks of the season with a knee injury.
His .474 on-base percentage, .567 slugging percentage and .337 batting average were also the best among Canadian big leaguers. He also hit .389 in five playoff games. Defensively, Votto was a Gold Glove finalist and he topped National League first basemen with 116 assists.
Votto also won the Tip O’Neill Award in 2010 and shared the award with John Axford in 2011.
“I thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for recognizing my contributions to our division championship team,” Votto said.
“It’s a great honour to present Joey with the Tip O’Neill award for his 2012 season. He’s not only one of the best Canadians in the game, but he’s one of the best players in the game.” said Scott Crawford, the Ball Hall’s director of operations.
The award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James ‘Tip’ O’Neill, one of Major League baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while hitting a staggering .492. Walks were included as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy (.438).
Past winners of the James “Tip” O’Neill Award:
2001-Corey Koskie (tie)
2002-Eric Gagne (tie)
2011-John Axford (tie)
2011-Joey Votto (tie)