Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Bob Brown excelled on the diamond and the gridiron during his teen years, even playing college football for the fabled Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1890s. From 1900 to 1909, he played professional baseball in Montana, Oregon and Washington, where he led the Spokane Indians to a Pacific Coast League pennant in 1908.
In 1910, Brown moved to Vancouver to become the owner/playing manager of the Vancouver Beavers. Under his reign with the Beavers, his club captured three pennants (1911, 1914, 1922). The respected baseball man also initiated the building of Capilano Stadium and became vice-president and general manager of the Capilanos club. Brown organized the first game played in Canada under lights and also served as the president of the Western International League from 1938 to 1953.
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Join the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for this exciting new event to kick off the 2017 Induction weekend. On Thursday, June 22 at the Miller Thomson LLP Toronto office (40 King St. W.) we will be hosting an exclusive reception featuring “conversations with excellence” with our 2017 Inductees including Toronto Blue Jays legend Roy Halladay, Montreal Expos great Vladimir Guerrero, past Baseball Canada president Ray Carter and members of Team Canada 2015.
The reception will take place from 5:30-7:30pm and only 140 tickets will be available. The cost is $225 per ticket. Click this link https://theopeningpitch.eventbrite.ca to purchase tickets. The reception will include an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Past Inductees also scheduled to appear include Fergie Jenkins, Pat Hentgen, Paul Beeston, Don McDougall, Howard Starkman, Bob Elliott and Ron Taylor.
St. Marys, Ont. – Etobicoke, Ont., native Joey Votto broke Larry Walker’s record for most career walks by a Canadian last night (June 28, 2017).
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman was issued his 914th career free pass in yesterday’s contest when Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Paolo Espino walked him in the bottom of the third inning in the Reds’ 4-3 win in Cincinnati.
The disciplined Votto surpassed Walker’s total in 643 fewer contests (1345) than it took Walker (1,988 games).
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will be receiving an artifact from Votto’s tying and record-breaking at bat to display at the museum in St. Marys, Ont.
Widely considered the greatest Canadian major league position player, Walker, who hails from Maple Ridge, B.C., still maintains a healthy lead in most other Canadian offensive statistical categories, including runs (1,355), hits (2,160), doubles (471), home runs (383), RBI (1,311) and total bases (3,904). He also leads Canadians in games played (1,988).
If the 33-year-old Votto, whose contract with the Reds extends through the 2024 season, continues to be productive through the duration of the deal, he could end up challenging many of Walker’s records.
As of right now, aside from the walks record, Votto also owns the top career on-base percentage by a Canadian (.424) and his on-base plus slugging percentage sits at .964, which is just .001 behind Walker’s.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame presented Votto with his sixth Tip O’Neill Award on May 29. The St. Marys, Ont.-based 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. Walker captured the honour nine times in his 17-year big league career.
Votto to be presented with Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award on May 29
St. Marys, Ont. – Etobicoke, Ont., native Joey Votto will be presented with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 Tip O’Neill Award in a ceremony in the Blue Jays interview room on May 29 at Rogers Centre prior to the Cincinnati Reds/Toronto Blue Jays game.
This will be the sixth time in seven years that Votto has won the award.
The St. Marys, Ont.-based 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.
To determine the winner, the Hall took into account a number of criteria, including each candidate’s on-the-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavors and support in fan voting.
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman, who shared the Tip O’Neill Award with John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) in 2011, staved off strong competition from Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (East York, Ont.), outfielder Michael Saunders (Victoria, B.C.), Baseball America double-A Minor League Player of the Year Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and national women’s team MVP Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.) to capture the honour.
“Joey Votto had another outstanding season on the field in 2016,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “But he also continues to be very active in charitable endeavors away from the field. He’s an excellent ambassador for the game of baseball in Canada and we’re proud to honour him with this award.”
Votto’s .326 batting average in 2016 was the third-best in the National League, but he hit .408 in the season’s second-half to become one of just seven players in major league history to bat over .400 after the All-Star break in a season. He led the National League in on-base percentage (OBP) (.434), times on base (294) and on-base plus slugging percentage plus (OPS+) (160) and finished second in on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (.985) and walks (108). He also posted a .550 slugging percentage and recorded 181 hits, good for sixth and eighth in the National League respectively.
His 2016 campaign represented just the 19th time in major league history that a Canadian has completed a season with a batting average over .300, an OBP over .400 and a slugging percentage over .500.
For his efforts, he was nominated for the National League’s Hank Aaron Award, handed out to the league’s top hitter, and he finished seventh in the National League MVP voting.
Away from the field, Votto is heavily involved with the Reds Community Fund, the club’s non-profit arm that’s dedicated to improving the lives of youth. He also regularly visits the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and participates in meet and greets with patients and staff at the ballpark throughout the season.
His previous contributions helped lead to the construction and completion of the 33,000-square foot training center at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy. The indoor complex bears his name and hosts year-round baseball, softball, educational and vocational programming.
Votto has also been a generous donor to UC Health (Greater Cincinnati’s Academic Health System) with a focus on patients living with post-traumatic stress disorder and he has participated in Make-A-Wish experiences at Great American Ball Park.
“I thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for the recognition. It is very humbling, because our country produces some very good baseball players,” said Votto. “We all need to thank the Baseball Hall of Fame’s efforts in promoting the sport and our native players.”
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.
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
As a teen, Jimmy Williams was a multi-sport star at Toronto’s De La Salle College School, excelling in hockey, football, lacrosse and baseball. He was soon signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and would play in their minor league system for 18 seasons (1947 to 1964).
Though he never received a big league call-up, Williams was a highly-regarded minor league hitter. In his first season in the Dodgers organization, the Canadian outfielder suited up for three different teams and recorded a .367 batting average and knocked in 121 runs. One of his finest seasons came with the Montreal Royals in 1955, when he hit .329 and belted 13 homers. In all, Williams hit .288 and clubbed 126 home runs during his minor league career.
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