Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Tip O’Neill Award


December 7, 2021

Official Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame News Release

St. Marys, Ont. – Montreal-born Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2021 Tip O’Neill Award.

Canada’s baseball shrine presents this honour annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

Guerrero Jr., who topped players born in Canada in almost every offensive category and tied for the major league lead in home runs (48), is a first-time winner of the award. He staved off strong competition from fellow major leaguers Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.), Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.), Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) and Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) to secure the honour.

“Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a tremendous breakout year in 2021. He was a Triple Crown contender for much of the season,” said Jeremy Diamond, chair of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors. “Several Canadians had outstanding major league seasons, but his offensive numbers were unquestionably the best. We’re proud to recognize him with this award.”

Guerrero Jr. was the American League leader in on-base percentage (OBP) (.401), slugging percentage (.601), on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (1.002), runs (123) and total bases (363). He also led the major leagues in the latter two categories and flirted with a Triple Crown, finishing the season third in the AL in batting average (.311), tied for first in home runs (48) and tied for fifth in RBIs (111). His 48 home runs also broke Eddie Mathews’ record set in 1953 for most homers in a season by a major league player 22 years old or younger.

For his efforts, the Blue Jays slugger was named to the American League All-Star team for the first time and homered in the Midsummer Classic to earn the game’s MVP honours.

Following the season, Guerrero Jr. won the American League’s Hank Aaron Award, given out to the league’s top hitter. At 22, he became the youngest recipient in the award’s history and the fourth Blue Jay to win it, joining Carlos Delgado (2000), Jose Bautista (2010, 2011) and Josh Donaldson (2015).

Guerrero Jr. also won his first Silver Slugger Award at the American League first baseman position, was named the first baseman on the All-MLB First Team and finished second to Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani in the American League MVP voting.

He also provided strong defence in his first full season at first base. His 8.06 Range Factor/Game ranked third among American League first basemen.

The 2021 campaign was his third with the Blue Jays. He made his major league debut on April 26, 2019 at the age of 20. His father is Montreal Expos legend and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero Jr. was born in Montreal when his father was playing for the Expos.

Away from the field, Guerrero Jr. has been a devoted supporter of ExposFest, a fundraiser organized by Perry Giannias in memory of his niece Kat D who passed away from an aggressive form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Proceeds from ExposFest go to the Kat D DIPG Foundation and the Montreal Children’s Hospital. 

“I’m honoured to receive this award,” said Guerrero Jr. “It’s an honour to be honoured in the country I was born in. Thank you to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. I hope to win this award again in the future.”

Details about the presentation of the 2021 Tip O’Neill Award will be announced in the coming months.

The Hall’s Tip O’Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James “Tip” O’Neill, who was one of Major League Baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the American Association’s St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill set big league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while compiling a major league record .492 batting average. Walks were counted as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standards, it would be .435, the second-highest in big league history to Hugh Duffy who hit .440 in 1894.

To determine the winner of the Tip O’Neill Award, the Hall takes into account a number of criteria, including each candidate’s on-the-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavors and their support in fan voting. The Hall also has a Tip O’Neill Award committee, consisting of a panel of Canadian baseball experts, that votes on the honour.

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 – Corey Koskie

2001 – Larry Walker

2002 – Eric Gagné

2002 – Larry Walker

2003 – Eric Gagné

2004 – Jason Bay

2005 – Jason Bay

2006 – Justin Morneau

2007 – Russell Martin

2008 – Justin Morneau

2009 – Jason Bay

2010 – Joey Votto

2011 – Joey Votto

2011 – John Axford

2012 – Joey Votto

2013 – Joey Votto

2014 – Justin Morneau

2015 – Joey Votto

2016 – Joey Votto

2017 – Joey Votto

2018 – James Paxton

2019 – Mike Soroka

2020 – Jamie Romak

2021 – Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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