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Jays reliever Jordan Romano wins Tip O'Neill Award as top Canadian player for 2022

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Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano (68) throws the ball during the ninth inning of AL baseball action against the Detroit Tigers, in Toronto on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Romano was named the winner of the Tip O’Neill Award on Tuesday as Canadian baseball player of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano was named the winner of the Tip O'Neill Award on Tuesday as Canadian baseball player of the year.

The award, presented by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, is handed out to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals.

Romano, a Markham, Ont. native, saved 36 games for the Blue Jays and was selected to his first All-Star Game. 

In 63 games, the hard-throwing right-hander recorded a 2.11 earned-run average and held opponents to a .190 batting average.

The 29-year-old Romano beat out Toronto teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill for the honour.

The Montreal-born Guerrero won the award in 2021.

"This is really special to win this award,"  Romano said in a statement. "I've followed the award over the years and I have a lot of respect for the previous winners. It will be great to have my name on the trophy alongside their names."

Romano was selected in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Blue Jays. He made his Major League debut in 2019.

The Tip O'Neill Award is named after James (Tip) O'Neill, a Woodstock, Ont., native who was one of baseball's first legitimate stars.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press