Courtesy of http://baseballhalloffame.ca/
St. Marys – The 2013 James “Tip” O’Neill Award will be presented to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto on Wednesday, April 16 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.
Selected to his fourth consecutive all-star game in 2013, Votto, who hails from Etobicoke, Ont., hit over .300 for the fifth straight season and set new Canadian single-season records for walks (135) and times on base (316). He also led the National League in both of those categories, as well as in on-base percentage (.435), plate appearances (726), games played at first base (161) and assists by a first-baseman (154). The Reds slugger, who finished sixth in the National League MVP voting, also belted 24 home runs, tied for the National League lead in intentional walks (19) and topped Canadians in every offensive category except for doubles, RBI and stolen bases.
Off the field, Votto launched the Joey Votto Foundation, which helps military veterans and active service members in Cincinnati and Toronto deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. His goal is to offer care to approximately 500 new patients each year.
Votto becomes the first player to win the award four years in a row (He shared the award with John Axford in 2011) and the second player to win it more than three times, joining Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker (who won the award nine times).
“Joey Votto is not only a superstar on the field, but he’s also an inspiration and a difference-maker away from the ballpark,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “There was a very strong field of candidates for this award, but Joey deserves this honour for his tremendous contributions both on and off the field.”
“It’s an honour to be recognized again by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” Votto said. “It is very flattering to be mentioned in any discussion that includes Larry Walker, who represented our country with such dedication and professionalism during his Major League career. I have to thank the Baseball Hall of Fame for its efforts in promoting our great game in Canada.”
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 enjoyed a season for the ages, recording a .691 slugging pecentage, 225 hits, 52 doubles, 19 triples, 14 home runs, 167 runs (fourth all-time in a single season), 357 total bases and 123 RBI. In the process, the Canadian outfielder set single-season records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while compiling his astounding .492 batting average. Walks were included as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standards, it would’ve been .435, the second highest in Major League history to Hugh Duffy’s .438 average in 1894.
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)