Romak wins 2020 Tip O’Neill Award

Photo of Jamie Romak playing for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization. Photo by ぽこ太郎 and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

London native Jamie Romak has been named the winner of this year’s Tip O’Neill Award, presented by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Hall of Fame officials announced Thursday that the Korean Baseball Organization slugger has won the award that honours the Canadian baseball player that “excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.”

After a 13-year professional career in North America that saw him play 27 games at the Major League level with the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1282 games at various levels of the minor leagues, and a stint in Japan, Romak signed with the KBO’s SK Wyverns in May of 2017. Over four seasons in Korea, Romak has never hit fewer than 29 home runs in a season.

“Jamie Romak has developed into one of the most feared power hitters in the Korean Baseball Organization,” said Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Director of Operations Scott Crawford. “He played a full season in 2020 and hit 32 home runs, had 91 RBIs and finished with a .399 on-base percentage. Those numbers were the best by any Canadian professional player this year. Most importantly, Jamie is highly respected by his peers and teammates and has been a great ambassador of the game for our country. We’re proud to recognize him with this award.”

Romak was selected for this year’s Tip O’Neill Award over Major League players Joey Votta, Tyler O’Neill, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jordan Romano, Cal Quantrill, and Rowan Wick, as well as Brock Dykxhoorn, who pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

“It’s an absolute honour to receive this award and have my name engraved beside so many great players – many of whom I grew up idolizing,” said Romak. “I am motivated by the generations of Canadian ball players before me that have made their mark and done so with dignity. I’m thinking of my family, friends and all the coaches along the way that have supported and encouraged me over the years. I’m humbled and grateful. Thank you.”

According to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the Tip O’Neill Award winner is selected using a variety of criteria, including on-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavours, and their support in fan voting.