Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins 2021 Tip O'Neil award

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates as he rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (Mike Carlson/AP)

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has won the 2021 Tip O'Neill Award, given "annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals" by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Guerrero, who was born in Montreal when his father was a member of the Montreal Expos, was among the top hitters in all of baseball in 2021 and finished runner-up for the American League MVP award. He tied for the MLB lead in home runs with 48 and led the American League in on-base percentage (.401), slugging percentage (.601), on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (1.002), runs (123) and total bases (363).

“Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a tremendous breakout year in 2021. He was a Triple Crown contender for much of the season,” said Jeremy Diamond, chair of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors. “Several Canadians had outstanding major league seasons, but his offensive numbers were unquestionably the best. We’re proud to recognize him with this award.”

This is Guerrero's first Tip O'Neill Award win. The other finalists included Cardinals outfielder Tyler O'Neill, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Cleveland Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill and Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano.

First baseman Jamie Romak, of the KBO League's SSG Landers, won the award in 2020.

“I’m honoured to receive this award,” said Guerrero Jr. “It’s an honour to be honoured in the country I was born in. Thank you to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. I hope to win this award again in the future.”

The Tip O'Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont. native James "Tip" O'Neill, who was an early-era baseball star with the St. Louis Browns in the late 1800s. The award committee features a panel of Canadian baseball experts and a fan vote helps determine the winner.

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