After working hard and long for a baseball career in the major league, Ontario’s Jamie Romak finally received recognition for his talents on the field, winning the Tip O’Neill Award on Thursday.
This trophy is awarded annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to the best native player in the country.
Romak, 35, has joined a number of youthful idols among the recipients over the years, including former Montreal Expos player Larry Walker, who won it nine times between 1987 and 2002.
Romak’s case remains special, however, since he has played in South Korea for four seasons after more than a decade at stake in smaller leagues and for short periods in major baseball. In the year 2020, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the athlete from London has managed to stand out.
“It is a great honor to receive this award and to see my name engraved with so many great players, some of whom were even my idols,” Romak commented in a statement. I think of my family, my friends and all the coaches over the years who have supported and encouraged me. I am touched by this honor. ”
A speedboat in Incheon
Romak succeeds young pitcher Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves, who won in 2019. Last season, the first baseman maintained a stroke of 282, and also hit 32 home runs in 139 games with SK Wyverns, his club located in Incheon, in the Korea League (KBO). Romak, who briefly wore the colors of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamonbacks in 2014 and 2015, respectively, has been one of the big stars in this South Korean team for several seasons.
In the ballot for the Tip-O’Neill Trophy, Romak especially beat several major league players, including Tyler O’Neill, Joey Votto and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., not to mention the excellent reliefs of Jordan Romano and Cal Quantrill.
“Jamie is well respected by his peers and teammates, and is a great ambassador for baseball in our country,” said Scott Crawford, Hall of Canadian Baseball Operations Director. We are proud to award him this honor. ”