Is Joey Votto still the face of the Cincinnati Reds franchise?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 08: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 08: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Is Joey Votto still the face of the Cincinnati Reds franchise?

It’s a relevant question, right? Even CBS Sports, who recently published its power rankings rating the face of franchise, questioned it. While the former MVP may no longer be the best player on the team, that honor goes to Eugenio Suárez, is Joey Votto still the face of the Cincinnati Reds?  The answer I will always give to that question is a resounding, yes.

Votto, drafted in the second-round of the 2002 MLB Draft as the 44th overall pick, received his call to The Show in 2007. Donning the No. 19, Votto stepped foot on the field on September 4, 2007 and never looked back.

We knew Votto was good when he got to the big leagues, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Reds fans realized that they had something special in their own backyard again. That year Votto would go on to win the MVP and earn his spot in the hearts of Reds fans forever.

One of the items that has dinged Votto over his career is something that he has little control over, his postseason play.  Joey Votto has only been to the playoffs three times (2010, 2012, and 2013), with the team never advancing past the division round and only making it to the Wild Card Game in 2013.

Baseball is not like basketball. An individual player cannot put the team on their back and bat one through nine while pitching nine innings every night. Votto always performed, and because of the lack of franchise success, he will never be looked at in the same light as other greats like Tony Perez and Pete Rose.

It is no secret that Votto’s name was always a topic of trade discussions during the Reds rebuilding years (2014-2018).  Due to a no-trade clause, Joey Votto had to agree to any trade and never did. Some people still wonder why the Reds never pulled off a trade for the six-time All-Star, when, ion actuality, it was Votto who never allowed it.

Say what you want, but until Joey Votto retires, it is his team and he is the face of the franchise. He never quit on the Reds and never quit on the fans. He wants to win so bad and it is obvious in the way he carries himself. He sticks up for teammates, never bashes the franchise and gives his all to the fans of Cincinnati.

Regardless of your feelings toward the Reds first baseman, or his not being a part of The Big Red Machine, or his lack of playoff success, Joey Votto has given everything to Cincinnati and he chose to sign there and he chose to stay there. That is admirable and something we hardly see in baseball, much less sports, anymore.

Joey Votto, until he retires, will continue to be the face of the Cincinnati Reds. Votto’s contract is up in 2024, and it is obvious he is starting to decline. Regardless, watching how meticulous Votto is in his craft, enjoying the interviews, and seeing a player wear the same uniform his whole career as an All-Star and MVP is special and something special.

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Let’s just admit that Joey Votto is the face and just enjoy the last few years he suits up in a Reds uniform. We can only hope one of the young players currently on Cincinnati’s roster can step up in a few years and take over, but one thing is for sure, we will never have another No. 19.