Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto grows his legacy out in public

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

After several years of a quiet presence, first baseman Joey Votto begins to slowly engage the public.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has an unusual reputation, undervalued nationally and respected locally.  Some people see him as a rude recluse.  In Cincinnati most people see him as a quiet, polite man.

Votto became enamored with the enthusiasm of super fan Walter Herbert.  Herbert was a six-year old fighting cancer.  He lost his fight on October 6th.

When Herbert came to Great American Ballpark on August 31st, he met up with Votto as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  After the game, Votto gave him the jersey he wore that day.  Later in the season Herbert came back as the honorary team captain.

Votto attended Herbert’s visitation.  This was another example recently of Votto getting more engaged in the Cincinnati community.  It is something that the fans have been clamoring for since Votto came to town.

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Nationally, many remember Votto’s comment last season in San Francisco.  He told a young Giants’ fan that “this wasn’t a Make-A-Wish moment,” when a young fan asked for his batting gloves.  Then again, how many visiting players give anything besides basic autographs?  Some called him baseball’s best villain.

Joey Votto has been a strong proponent of committee work since as least as long as 2013.

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In 2014 Votto won the Branch Rickey Award.  The award goes to one MLB player every year that demonstrates high standard and social concern.  It received nearly no fanfare in Cincinnati.

Votto supported the Joey Votto Foundation, the Reds Community Fund, the Reds Urban Youth Academy, the aforementioned Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital all in 2013.  He has also long supported work with families struggling with post traumatic stress disorder.

He works with the Reds Urban Youth Academy.  That work is kept nearly silent.  His Make-A-Wish work is occasionally mentioned.

He attempts to take part in it every single homestand.  Back in 2012 Votto donated baseball equipment.  It went to several of the local area schools.

Votto had an interesting last series of the season.  He corrected his response in San Francisco last year.  Votto spent much of a game in Chicago chatting with some young fans.

He gave them his batting gloves as a souvenir.  This was in Wrigley Field, mind you.  The Reds played the Cubs to end the season.

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Votto is making every effort to do the right thing.  This is for the Cincinnati community.  Both he and the Reds tend to keep his work quiet.  Rest assured that Votto does good.  He is someone Cincinnati can truly be proud of.