Braves’ Mike Soroka wins Canadian Baseball HOF’s 2019 Tip O’Neill Award

Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka joins Writers Bloc to discuss how honoured he was to win the Tip O’Neill Award as top Canadian Player, and reacts to the Braves signing Cole Hamels, and the Phillies signing Zack Wheeler.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2019 Tip O’Neill Award.

The award is handed out every year to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

He is the second pitcher in a row to win the award after James Paxton of the New York Yankees won in 2018.

“Mike Soroka put together one of the best rookie seasons by a Canadian pitcher in major league history,” said Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations Scott Crawford in a statement. “He not only had an outstanding regular season with the Atlanta Braves, but he was also dominant in his first post-season start. He’s definitely a worthy recipient of the award.”

The Calgary native shone in his first full season with the Braves, posting a 13-4 record in 29 starts with an ERA of 2.68, the third-lowest in the National League.

Soroka finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Pete Alonso of the Mets, sixth in the NL Cy Young race, and was named to the NL roster at the All-Star Game.

The 2015 first-round draft pick also made his post-season debut, allowing one run on two hits in Atlanta’s Game 3 win in the NLDS.

“When I had been told I would be the recipient of the 2019 Tip O’Neill Award, it really did put me back in a sense of awe,” Soroka said in a statement. “Having had the opportunity to grow up through the Canadian Baseball Program (Junior National Team), I have always felt a sense of pride when there are Canadians excelling in this game. I am always sure to mention to anyone watching other games in the clubhouse when a Canadian is at the plate or on the mound.

“I am beyond humbled to have the honour of sharing this award with some of the greats of not just Canadian baseball, but Major League Baseball period. This sense of pride has stemmed from others who represented Canadian baseball so well before me, and is something I hope to carry on as well.”

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