OTTAWA-Joey Votto may need a new trophy case after the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys, Ontario named the Cincinnati Reds first baseman the winner of the Tip O’Neill Award for the seventh time.
The hall annually hands out the award to a Canadian baseball player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals.
“I thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for the honour. I continue to be humbled by this award, because very good baseball players are coming out of Canada,” said Votto. “My countrymen and I thank the Baseball Hall of Fame’s continuing efforts in promoting the game and our players.”
Votto, 34 and a native of Etobicoke, Ontario, topped the National League in on-base percentage (OBP) (.454), walks (134), intentional walks (20) and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (1.032) in 2017 that saw him finish runner-up to Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton in NL Most Valuable Player voting. He finished third in the league in batting average (.320), tied for fifth in home runs (36) and sixth in slugging percentage (.578).
For his efforts, he was named to the National League All-Star team for the fifth time and was nominated for the league’s Hank Aaron Award.
As much as he’s a star on the field, Votto’s contributions and kindness off the field are felt by many in the Cincinnati area where is heavily involved with the Reds Community Fund, the club’s non-profit arm that’s dedicated to improving the lives of youth, and is a regular visitor to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“Joey Votto has had several outstanding major league seasons, but 2017 might have been his best yet,” said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations. “And through his charitable efforts, he continues to be a wonderful ambassador for the game of baseball. We’re proud to honour him with this award.”
Votto will be presented with the award in a pre-game ceremony in Cincinnati early in the 2018 season.
For more information on the CBHOF and the Tip O’Neill Award, please click here.
(Photo: Getty Images)