Born and raised in Toronto, Joey Votto was given a baseball bat at age eight by his parents, his first memory about baseball. Votto graduated from Richview Collegiate in Etobicoke, where he starred as a baseball player and all-around athlete who was good enough to play on any team. Ultimately, he focused his energies on baseball and his intense training paid off.
Votto, who plays first base, was drafted right out of high school in 2002 by the Cincinnati Reds of the National League (NL). They selected him in the second round of the major league baseball entry draft. After a few seasons in the minors, Votto made his major league debut on 4 September 2007 against the New York Mets. The next season, his first full year with the Reds, Votto hit an impressive .297, hitting 24 home runs and driving in 84. He came second in voting for the NL rookie of the year. The following season he hit .322.
In 2009, Votto represented Canada in the World Baseball Classic, a tournament of the best players from baseball-playing nations. He hit an impressive .556.
The year 2010 was memorable for Votto for several reasons. He made the NL all-star team on his way to hitting .324, belting 37 home runs and getting 113 runs batted in (RBI), leading the Cincinnati Reds to the playoffs for the first time since 1995. His outstanding season resulted in him winning the National League's most valuable player award and the Hank Aaron award for best hitter. He also won the Lou Marsh Trophy for Canada's outstanding athlete of the year.
The Reds then signed him to a three-year contract worth $38 million. Two years later, he signed a 12-year deal for $251.5 million, the largest contract in the team's history, and the longest guaranteed contract in the history of major league baseball to that point. In addition to his many accomplishments, Votto, who wears #19, is known for being humble and an incredibly hard worker.
Most Valuable Player Award, National League (2010)
Hank Aaron Award, National League (2010)
Lou Marsh Trophy (2010, 2017)
James “Tip” O’Neill Award, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2010–13, 2015–17)