Votto wins Tip O'Neill Award

Ontario native Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds won the 2010 Tip O'Neill Award given out by the...

Ontario native Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds won the 2010 Tip O'Neill Award given out by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

Joey Votto hit 37 homers for the Cincinnati Reds this season.

Now, the question is: Will the Etobicoke first baseman win that many awards this off season?

The National League most valuable player and Hank Aaron award winner, as the best offensive player in the NL, won the 2010 Tip O'Neill Award given out by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys Friday.

Votto, 27, likely will be presented the award April 30, slated to be a Joey Votto bobblehead night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Reds won the NL's Central Division thanks to Votto hitting .324, driving in 113 runs, leading the league with a .424 on-base percentage and .600 slugging percentage.

Votto declined the mantle of Canada's best player telling the Hall of Fame:

"No way have I become Canada's best player. This is no more than a case of me being judged by you guys to have had the best season by a Canadian-born player."

Votto praised Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who missed the second half with a concussion, saying: "He isn't only one of the best Canadians, but one of the best in the game, Canadian or not."

Ryan Dempster of Gibson, B.C., the 2000 winner, placed second in the voting, thanks to his 15 wins for he Chicago Cubs, as well as 208 strikeouts in 215 innings.

Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford of Simcoe, Ont., was next. Axford took over from Hall of Fame candidate Trevor Hoffman, who finished with 10 saves this season giving him 601 in his career. Axford, Hoffman's replacement, had 24 saves, a 2.38 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 58 innings.

Locked in a three-way tie for fifth place were Toronto-born Twins reliever Jesse Crain, Team Canada MVP's Jamie Romak of London, Ont., and Kate Psota of Burlington, MVP of the Canadian women's team.

Crain had a 3.04 ERA for the Twins, while Romak a Kansas City Royals farmhand, hit five home runs and batted .448 in winning the MVP at the World Cup/Pan-Am Games qualifying tournament held in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Fall.

Psota hit .500 and had an 0.88 ERA at the 2010 World Cup held in Venezuela.


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