Ceremony slated prior to Reds game on Joey Votto MVP Bobblehead Night
Cincinnati – While the first 30,000 fans at Great American Ball Park will receive a Joey Votto Bobblehead, the Canadian slugger will be awarded his 2010 Tip O’Neill Award in a brief pre-game ceremony prior to Saturday night’s game at Great American Ball Park (First Pitch 7:10pm) when his Cincinnati Reds host the Florida Marlins.
This is the first Tip Award for the reigning National League MVP, an honour 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.
Larry Walker won the award a record nine times, with 2009 winner Jason Bay being next with a total of three. Justin Morneau and Eric Gagné, with two each, are the only other multiple winners.
“Nobody at the Hall believes that this will be the only time we’ll be honouring Joey,” said president & CEO Tom Valcke, who will present the award along with Director of Operations Scott Crawford.
“He’s a rare specimen, but yet a typical Canadian in his work ethic, wholesome values and pride in his nationality. He won’t be talking about this award after Saturday, because for Joey Votto, it’s all about the next game.”
The Etobicoke, Ontario native is already en route to back-to-back Tips, with a terrific start in the 2011 campaign, compiling a team-leading .379 batting average, five homeruns and 16 RBI so far in April. The left-handed hitting first baseman’s .509 on-base percentage and .655 slugging percentage are also among the league leaders.
In a landslide vote for the 2010 Tip, Votto led the Reds to the NL’s Central Division Championship while batting .324, hitting 37 homeruns and driving in 113 runs. In addition to compiling an incredible league-leading .424 on-base percentage and .600 slugging percentage for the 2010 season, the 27-year-old All-Star racked up 31 of 32 first place votes in winning the National League’s MVP award. He also won the Hank Aaron Award.
In the Hall’s internet and Facebook poll, more than 80% of respondents chose Votto.
The award is named after Woodstock, Ontario native 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. The outfielder set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and total bases that season while compiling his astounding .492 batting average. Bases on balls were included as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy (.438).
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 GAGNÉ (tie)
2003 ERIC GAGNÉ
2004 JASON BAY
2005 JASON BAY
2006 JUSTIN MORNEAU
2007 RUSSELL MARTIN
2008 JUSTIN MORNEAU
2009 JASON BAY
2010 JOEY VOTTO
<< Please Note: The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will induct Tom Henke, Allan Simpson and George Wood on Saturday, June 18, 2011 on the Ceremonial Grounds in St. Marys, Ontario. >>
For more information please contact:
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
P.O. Box 1838, 140 Queen St. E.
St. Marys, ON, Canada, N4X 1C2
Tel: 519-284-1838, Toll Free: 1-877-250-BALL
Tom Valcke’s cell phone: 519-272-7406
Tom Valcke’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org