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Top 10 Canadians to play in the MLB: Walker, Votto, Jenkins

While the Toronto Blue Jays may be the sole Canadian team in the MLB, there is plenty of representation throughout the league with stars from Canada regularly among the league’s best. 

Here we pick out the best ten MLB players from Canada.

Joey Votto

Joey Votto is one of Canada’s most iconic baseball players. 

The Toronto native has been playing in the majors since 2007 and, in that time, has racked up six All-Star appearances, a National League MVP in 2010 and a Golden Glove in 2011.

Votto is the second Canadian to have 2,000 hits and is also famed for his patience, while he has had a consistently high on-base percentage throughout his career with the Cincinnati Reds.

Larry Walker

Hailing from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Larry Walker had a seriously impressive career, racking up three batting titles, five All-Star appearances and the 1997 National League MVP award.

That season saw Walker register a batting average of .366, hit 49 home runs and manage 130 RBIs in what is considered one of the best hitting seasons of all time. 

His lifetime slugging percentage ranks 12th in the history of the MLB. 

Ferguson Jenkins

Longevity is hard to achieve as a pitcher but Chatham native Ferguson Jenkins managed it, with a career that lasted from 1965 to 1983, registering 3,192 strikeouts along the way.

The Hall of Famer won the National League Cy Young award in 1971 and his 284 wins are the most of any black pitcher in major league history. 

Justin Morneau

Another recent player on this list, British Columbia-born Justin Morneau only retired in 2016 after a 13-year career that saw him win the 2006 American League MVP and the 2014 National League batting title.

The first baseman was a four-time All-Star and also won the 2008 Home Run Derby.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr

It’s often hard to work out the legacy of a player when they are still playing, but it seems certain that Vladimir Guerrero Jr is set to have a big one.

The son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, Jr has been making a serious mark on the majors since his debut in 2019.

The Montreal-born slugger is a three-time All-Star, has won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award and was the MLB home run leader in 2021. 

Russell Martin

Born in East York and enjoying a successful 14-year career as a major leaguer, Russell Martin is the sole catcher on this list.

He won both a Gold Glove award and a Silver Slugger award and finished his career in 2019 as a four-time All Star.

George Selkirk

The Ontario-born George Selkirk won five rings with the New York Yankees in the late 1930s.

He did a good job of taking over from Babe Ruth at right-field, hitting over .300 in five of his first six seasons and making the All-Star team twice before his career was cut short by World War Two in 1942.  

Eric Gagne

Winning a Cy Young award as a closer is a major achievement for a pitcher and one that Montreal-born Eric Gagne managed in 2003 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, registering 57 saves and becoming known as ‘Game Over’.

He set a major league record by converting 84 consecutive save opportunities.

The pitcher was a three-time All-Star and won the 2007 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, also sporting a fastball that topped out at 101mph. 

Tip O’Neill

The oldest entrant on this list, Tip O’Neill was born in Montreal in 1860 and went on to dominate the majors for years to come.

He won the triple crown in 1887 and his 213 OPS+ from that season is in the top-25 of all time.

O’Neill won the World Series in 1886 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual award is named after the left-fielder, showing the impact he had in establishing the country’s name as a baseball force.

Jason Bay

British Columbia-born Jason Bay had a very successful MLB career, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2004 and also taking home the Silver Slugger in 2009.

Bay was a three-time All-Star and retired in 2013.

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