Votto to receive Tip O’Neill Award on Wednesday in Cincinnati

A photo of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Tip O'Neill trophy. (Courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame)
A photo of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill trophy. (Courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame)

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.

Votto baseball card

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:
1984-Terry Puhl
1985-Dave Shipanoff
1986-Rob Ducey
1987-Larry Walker
1988-Kevin Reimer
1989-Steve Wilson
1990-Larry Walker
1991-Daniel Brabant
1992-Larry Walker
1993-Rob Butler
1994-Larry Walker
1995-Larry Walker
1996-Jason Dickson
1997-Larry Walker
1998-Larry Walker
1999-Jeff Zimmerman
2000-Ryan Dempster
2001-Larry Walker(tie)
2001-Corey Koskie (tie)
2002-Larry Walker(tie)
2002-Eric Gagne (tie)
2003-Eric Gagne
2004-Jason Bay
2005-Jason Bay
2006-Justin Morneau
2007-Russell Martin
2008-Justin Morneau
2009-Jason Bay
2010-Joey Votto
2011-John Axford (tie)
2011-Joey Votto (tie)
2012-Joey Votto
2013-Joey Votto

Published by cooperstownersincanada

Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.

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