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Votto Canada's best player for fourth straight year

Votto Canada's best player for fourth straight year

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Votto Canada's best player for fourth straight year

CINCINNATI -- Once again, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been acknowledged by his home country of Canada as its best baseball player. For the fourth consecutive year, Votto will be honored with the Tip O'Neill Award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

The award is presented annually to the Canadian player "judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals."

Votto, a native of Etobicoke, Ontario, is the first player to win the O'Neill Award four years in a row. He did share the award with John Axford in 2011. Only one other player, Larry Walker, has won the award more than three times. Walker won it nine times during his career.

Besides taking into account on-the-field performance, the Canadian Hall of Fame also has award criteria that includes team contribution, community endeavors and voting from the fans. Votto, who will be presented with the award in Cincinnati before a 2014 game at Great American Ball Park, batted .305 with 24 home runs, 73 RBIs, a National League leading .435 on-base percentage and a Major League-leading 135 walks. He reached base 316 times to break Pete Rose's 1969 club record.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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