The James “Tip” O’Neill Award

Presented annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

James “Tip” O’Neill Career Began in 1883.

Tip started his Major League Baseball career as a pitcher in 1883.

He won the 1886 World Championship with St. Louis.

James “Tip” O’Neill was one of Major League baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill batted .492, SLG-.691, Hits-225, Doubles-52, Triples-19, Homeruns-14, Total Bases-357, Runs-167 (4th all-time for a single season), RBI-123.

Major League Record Holder from Woodstock, ON

The outfielder from Woodstock, Ontario set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and total bases that season while compiling an astounding .492 batting average (walks were included as hits in 1887, but if his average was calculated by today’s standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy, .440).

Played 1052 games with a career .326 AVG and .851 OPS.

The former US Speaker of the House was named after the Canadian baseball icon.

Award Winner 

Once the season is completed the information on all the players are compiled and a committee discussion takes place to determine the award winner. Winner is announced early December.

2022 Award Winner

Jordan Romano 

St. Marys, Ont. – Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2022 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.

Romano, who saved 36 games and was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game in 2022, is a first-time winner of the award. He staved off strong competition from fellow major leaguers Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.) to secure the honour.

“Jordan Romano had one of the best major league seasons ever by a Canadian relief pitcher, and the fact that he enjoyed it with the Blue Jays, his hometown team, made it even more special,” said Jeremy Diamond, chair of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors. “Several Canadians had outstanding major league seasons, but Jordan’s performance really stood out. We’re proud to recognize him with this award.”

In 63 games in 2022, the hard-throwing Romano recorded a 2.11 ERA, which is the eighth best ERA ever by a Canuck reliever that has thrown at least 50 innings in a season.

The Markham, Ont., native also registered 36 saves, which was the third most in the American League, and he also became the first Canadian to register 30 saves in a season for a Canadian major league team. Eric Gagne (Mascouche, Que.), John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) and John Hiller (Toronto, Ont.) are the only three Canadians to have registered more saves in a single major league season.

Despite being used exclusively as a late-inning reliever, Romano topped all Canadian major league pitchers in 2022 with a 2.9 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). He also held opponents to a .190 batting average.

Romano was at his best in the second half for the Blue Jays, posting a 1.50 ERA with 16 saves, while striking out 34 batters in 30 innings, in 28 appearances.

The Canadian righty also finished first among American League pitchers in Win Probability Added (3.7) and third in games finished (52). For his efforts, he was named American League Reliever of the Month in April and July and was a first-time All-Star.

The 2022 campaign was Romano’s fourth with the Blue Jays. After honing his skills with Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team, Romano was selected in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Blue Jays. He made his major league debut on June 12, 2019 at the age of 26.

Romano has been active in charitable and community endeavors.

“This is really special to win this award,” said Romano. “I’ve followed the award over the years and I have a lot of respect for the previous winners. It will be great to have my name on the trophy alongside their names. Thank you to everyone who voted for me.”

Details about the presentation of the 2022 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.

Previous Award Winners

2023 – Announced December 7
– Jordan Romano
– Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
– Jamie Romak
2019 – Mike Soroka
2018 – James Paxton
2017 – Joey Votto
2016 – Joey Votto
2015 – Joey Votto
2014 – Justin Morneau
2013 – Joey Votto
2012 – Joey Votto
2011 – John Axford
2011 – Joey Votto
2010 – 
Joey Votto
2009 – Jason Bay
2008 – Justin Morneau
2007 – Russell Martin
2006 – Justin Morneau
2005 – Jason Bay
2004 – Jason Bay
2003 – 
Eric Gagné
2002 – Larry Walker
2002 – Eric Gagné
2001 – Larry Walker
2001 – Corey Koskie
2000 – Ryan Dempster
1999 – Jeff Zimmerman
1998 – Larry Walker
1997 – Larry Walker
1996 – Jason Dickson
1995 – Larry Walker
1994 – Larry Walker
1993 – Rob Butler
1992 – Larry Walker
1991 – Daniel Brabant
1990 – Larry Walker
1989 – Steve Wilson
1988 – Kevin Reimer
1987 – Larry Walker
1986 – Rob Ducey
1985 – Dave Shipanoff
1984 – Terry Puhl