James Pax­ton wins Tip O’Neill award

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - SPORTS -

ST. MARYS, Ont. — Left-handed pitcher James Pax­ton has been named the win­ner of the 2018 Tip O’Neill Award by the Cana­dian Base­ball Hall of Fame.

The award is given out an­nu­ally by the Hall of Fame to the Cana­dian player “judged to have ex­celled in in­di­vid­ual achieve­ment and team con­tri­bu­tion while ad­her­ing to base­ball’s high­est ideals.”

The 30-year-old from Lad­ner, B.C., be­came the first Cana­dian pitcher to throw a ma­jor league no-hit­ter on home soil when he held the Toronto Blue Jays hit­less in a 5-0 win for the Seat­tle Mariners on May 8 at Rogers Cen­tre. That per­for­mance came just six days af­ter he had set a Cana­dian record by strik­ing out 16 bat­ters on May 2 in a start against the Oak­land A’s.

The six-foot-four south­paw went 11-6 with a 3.76 earned-run av­er­age and struck out 208 bat­ters for the Mariners be­fore be­ing dealt to the New York Yan­kees last month.

His 208 strike­outs are the sec­ond-most by a Cana­dian left­hander in a ma­jor league sea­son and he be­came one of only two pitch­ers in big league his­tory to notch 200 strike­outs in a sea­son in 161 or fewer in­nings.

“I am ex­tremely hon­oured to have been named the Tip O’Neill Award win­ner for 2018,” Pax­ton said in a state­ment. “I am proud to be rep­re­sent­ing Canada in Ma­jor League Base­ball and try to do so to the best of my abil­ity.

“I will con­tinue to give ev­ery­thing I have to be the best base­ball player and per­son I can be. Thank you so much to the Cana­dian Base­ball Hall of Fame for rec­og­niz­ing my ef­forts.”

Pax­ton is a first-time win­ner of the award. Cincin­nati Reds slug­ger and seven-time win­ner Joey Votto of Toronto, St. Louis Car­di­nals out­fielder Tyler O’Neill of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Mon­treal-born Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guer­rero Jr. were also in the run­ning for the award.

“James Pax­ton had an out­stand­ing sea­son in 2018,” Scott Craw­ford, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions of the Hall of Fame, said in a re­lease. “Not only did he make his­tory when he be­came the first Cana­dian to throw a ma­jor league no-hit­ter on Cana­dian soil, but he also struck out bat­ters at a near-record rate over the course of the sea­son. He’s def­i­nitely a wor­thy re­cip­i­ent of the award.” The Cana­dian Press

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