Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is the best athlete from Canada

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto won the 2017 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete.

After finishing second in the National League MVP race, Cincinnati Reds first baseman won the Lou Marsh Trophy.  The last time that Votto won was his MVP season of 2010.  He is the first two time winner from baseball.

The only other pair of baseball players to win are Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies and Ferguson Jenkins of the Chicago Cubs.  Walker is up for election to Cooperstown this year.  Jenkins entered Cooperstown in 1991.

The Lou Marsh Trophy traditionally toggles back and forth between Olympians and hockey players.  That the baseball trio broke through is impressive.  Sidney Crosby of the Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins was one of the other finalists this year.

2017 was the first time that Votto actually played a regular season game in Canada in eight years.  He last played there in 2009.  In both series against the Toronto Blue Jays he hit a home run.

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Curler Rachel Homan was the only female finalist.  She was a 2017 world champion, after being a three-time national champion. Her rink went unbeaten the entire world championship tournament in Beijing, China.

Crosby won his second consecutive Stanley Cup in 2017.  He also won his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP.  His career has been blessed since being drafted first overall in 2005.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is the best position player from Canada.

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Prior to the arrival of Votto, Walker was the definitive best position player from Canada.  As a Montreal Expo, Walker won a pair of Gold Gloves and made an All-Star team.  He also led the National League in doubles.

Unfortunately for Walker, he won his lone MVP award when he was in Colorado.  That means despite leading all of MLB in home runs, slugging, and OPS, he is not fully respected.  He also won five more Gold Gloves in Colorado.

Votto, meanwhile, has finally over taken Walker for career OPS.

Votto’s is .969 compared to Walker’s .965.  Votto also has a higher OBP, .428. than Walker’s at .400.

When you compare the two, Votto is a little bit better at hitting and getting on base.  Walker is a little bit better at playing the field and hitting home runs.  Because Walker played in an era where home run hitting was more prevalent, though, his stats are somewhat less impressive.

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Votto has to keep playing at an elite level.  He may even need to win another Lou Marsh Trophy.  Then just maybe he could join Jenkins in Cooperstown.