Joey Votto: A Baseball Legend

Joey Votto, a Canadian-American professional baseball first baseman, is currently a free agent after playing his entire career for the Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2007.

He’s known for being the first Canadian MLB player to hit 300 home runs and achieve 1,000 RBIs, and the second Canadian to reach 2,000 hits.

Votto has earned six MLB All-Star appearances, seven Tip O’Neill Awards, and two Lou Marsh Trophies.

In 2010, he won the NL MVP Award and the NL Hank Aaron Award.

An image of Joey Votto
Joey Votto isn’t expected to return to the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images).


Early life Of Joey Votto

Votto was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Etobicoke.

His mom works in a restaurant, and his dad was a chef and loved baseball but passed away when Votto was young.

He’s part Italian and part English.

When he was young, he loved Ted Williams and had a poster of him on his wall.

He went to Richview Collegiate Institute for high school starting in 1997.

In addition to baseball, he played basketball and hockey.

He played baseball for the Etobicoke Rangers.

After high school, he agreed to play baseball for Coastal Carolina Chanticleers by signing a contract.

An infographic with Joey Votto facts, PHOTO CREDIT:


Professional career

Minor leagues

The Cincinnati Reds picked Votto from high school in the second round of the MLB draft.

He played for the Reds’ affiliate Dayton Dragons in the Class A Midwest League, then moved to the Potomac Cannons in the Class A-Advanced Carolina League.

In 2005, with the Sarasota Reds in the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, he hit 19 home runs but struck out 122 times.

In 2006, playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Class AA Southern League, he had his best season, winning the Southern League Most Valuable Player Award.

Later that year, he played in the Dominican Winter League for the Leones del Escogido team.

Cincinnati Reds

2007 season

In 2007, Votto joined the Louisville Bats in AAA.

The Reds called him up on September 1.

He debuted on September 4, striking out once but hitting a home run in his next at-bat.

He performed well, getting three hits in five at-bats, helping the Reds win 7–0.

He hit another home run on September 8, bringing in three runs, but the Reds lost 4–3.

He continued to play solidly in the following games, even stealing his first base on September 14.

In the season finale, he hit another home run and brought in five runs, ending the season with a .321 batting average, four home runs, and 17 RBI.

2008 season

In 2008, Votto began sharing first base with Hatteberg before becoming the Reds’ main first baseman in April.

He hit his first home run on April 15 and drove in five runs against the Cubs shortly after.

On May 7, he hit three home runs in a game.

Votto also hit his first pinch-hit home run against Cliff Lee, who later won the AL Cy Young Award.

He had his first four-hit game on August 31 against the Giants and, alongside Jay Bruce, hit two home runs in a game on September 18.

Votto finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting and led NL rookies in several categories.

He set a new Reds’ record for most RBIs by a rookie in a season, with 84.

2013 season

In February, fans voted Votto as the “Face of the MLB” on Twitter, beating out other players.

He played for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

He hit consecutive home runs on April 20-21 against the Marlins, a first since 2011.

Votto was voted as an All-Star starter for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, marking his fourth appearance, but he went 0-for-2 in the game, making his All-Star record 0-for-9.

2014 season

On May 21, 2014, Votto landed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left quadriceps.

He returned on June 10 but re-injured himself on July 8, missing the rest of the season.

In 62 games, he hit .255 with six home runs, 47 walks, and 23 RBIs, marking a career low.

2015 season

On May 6, 2015, Votto was ejected for throwing his helmet in frustration.

He bumped an umpire and received a one-game suspension.

On June 9, he hit three home runs, a feat achieved only three times in his career.

In August, he was ejected again after a brawl.

In September, he was ejected twice more, both times against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On October 2, he matched a Reds record for consecutive games on base.

In 158 games that season, he led MLB in walks, with 143, and had a .314 batting average, 29 home runs, and 80 RBIs.

He won his fifth Tip O’Neill Award and finished third in the NL MVP voting.

2017 season

Votto bounced back from a season-low .213 average in May to hit .400 after the All-Star Break, a feat not seen since 2004.

His .326 season average was second only to his 2012 performance.

With 29 home runs, he had his second-best tally since his MVP season in 2010.

Votto led the NL in on-base percentage and ranked among the league leaders in various categories, solidifying his place as one of baseball’s elite.

2018 season

Votto hit eight home runs and drove in 44 runs, earning a spot in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

He maintained a batting average of .284 and an on-base percentage of .417, leading the National League in on-base percentage for the third year in a row.

He swung at only 16.4% of pitches outside the strike zone, the lowest in the majors.

This marked his seventh season leading the NL in on-base percentage, putting him among just six players in MLB history to achieve this feat seven or more times.

2019 season

In 2019, Votto had a batting average of .261, an on-base percentage of .357, and a slugging percentage of .411.

He hit 15 home runs and drove in 47 runs.

Among National League batters, he swung at the lowest percentage of pitches outside the strike zone (21.1%) and made the least soft contact (10.1%) among all major league batters.

Interestingly, he popped out to first base for the first time in his career on April 17, in his 6,829th plate appearance.

2020 season

On September 20, Votto walked for the 1,211th time in his career, breaking Pete Rose’s Reds record.

In the shortened 2020 season, Votto played 53 games, with 223 plate appearances.

He hit .226/.354/.446 with 11 home runs and 22 RBIs, ranking as the ninth-oldest player in the National League.

2022 season

On April 30, Votto hit his 300th home run.

He got ejected in June but reached milestones, like his 1,000th RBI and 2,000th hit.

He ended the season hitting .266 with 36 home runs and 99 RBI, leading in the lowest percentage of softly hit balls at 8.0%.

2023 season

Votto played in 65 games during 2023, ending with a .202 batting average.

After the season, he became a free agent.

Personal Life

In a 2021 profile, Votto was dubbed “the most interesting man in baseball” by The Athletic.

Described as a “magnificent weirdo” by SB Nation, he embraced social media during the pandemic to connect with fans.

Votto, an introvert, struggled with mental health early in his career but found a renewed love for baseball by 2023.

He studied Spanish, danced, played chess, and took improv classes to broaden his interests.

A sophomore geography major at the University of Florida, Votto became a U.S. citizen in 2022.

He has three brothers and was represented by sports agent Dan Lozano.


Joey Votto is more than just numbers.

His love for baseball, his leadership, and his drive to be the best have made a big impact.

People are excited to see what he does next, whether he stays with the Reds or goes somewhere else.

Joey Votto is a baseball hero who inspires lots of players and fans.


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About the author

Anne Mitchelle

Am a dedicated journalist, who has passionately crafted compelling stories for over 13 years. My journey reflects unwavering commitment and a profound love for the transformative power of words.

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