Joey Votto is undoubtedly an excellent baseball player. He’s done amazing things for baseball in Canada and has been an offensive force along with a defensive wizard since breaking into the bigs in 2007.
In 1463 major league games, he’s slashed an outstanding .313/.428/.539 with 262 home runs and 849 RBI. He’s been an All-Star five times and won the NL MVP Award in 2010. He won a Gold Glove Award in 2011 and has a career WAR of 52.7, eighth among active position players.
Born and raised in Etobicoke, Ontario, Votto attended Richview Collegiate where he also played basketball. He was drafted 44th overall by the Cincinnati Reds during the 2002 draft and has been in their organization ever since.
Since coming into the league, Votto has exemplified Canadian politeness, competitive athleticism and incredible skill. He is a two-time Lou Marsh Award winner, being routinely recognized as one of Canada’s all-time best baseball players.
By the end of his career, he is on pace to reach base somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 times which would put him in the top 20 in that statistic. He’s also on pace for about 2,500 hits which would put him in the top 100 all-time in that category. Less notable, yet still impressive, Votto is likely to reach 310 home runs before his retirement which would make him only the 130th player to achieve that number.
He’s 34-years-old and should have a few good seasons left in him. In addition to winning the MVP Award in 2010 (a season in which he put up a 7.0 WAR, top 500 seasons in baseball history by WAR), he’s placed in the top 10 of MVP voting five times while placing in the top three in two of those years.
As of May, 2018, Joey Votto is third all-time in home runs by a Canadian baseball player and holds single-season records in numerous offensive categories for Canucks in the MLB.
It is certainly possible that he will become a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown one day. If he were to be inducted, he would become just the second Canadian in the hall, joining legendary hurler Ferguson Jenkins, who was inducted in 1991.
With all things considered, Joey Votto remains one of the game’s greatest players. In a market where Canadian athletes are certainly not the majority, Votto is a pleasant anomaly and represents Canada excellently.
While baseball, in general, is on the rise in the Great White North, the Major Leagues are still missing Canadian involvement and Votto is surely making that more and more possible with every outstanding season he churns out.
(Featured Image: John Minchillo/The Associated Press)