Joey Votto – Syl Apps Award 2018

Flying under the radar seems to be a way of life for Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto. For the Toronto native, Votto’s greatness, though, is a thing appreciated more by baseball observers than by casual fans. This is in part because he’s not a wall-banging masher at the plate and in part because he plays in Cincinnati, a small market, for a Reds team that has recently had some lean years. In 2017, a season in which he lost the National League’s MVP race to Giancarlo Stanton in the closest vote for that award since 1979, Votto made headlines for finishing number one in a touching moment on the field. During an August, 2017 game, Votto gave the jersey off his back to a young boy battling cancer. Walter “Superbubz” Herbert died in early October, 2017 after a two-year battle with cancer. His story went viral earlier as the 6-year-old formed an unlikely friendship with the baseball star. Votto hit a solo home run during the game against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park, and Superbubz was lucky enough to be sitting in the front row near Cincinnati’s dugout. Votto had met the boy a week earlier when he was at Great American Ball Park courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He walked over to Superbubz after the homer and gave him the bat he used and his jersey. Superbubz immediately put on the jersey and one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see. Votto’s resume to date is an impressive one. He is a five-time MLB All-Star , a seven-time Tip O’Neill Award winner and two-time Lou Marsh Trophy winner as Canada’s athlete of the year. In 2010, he won the National League (NL) MVP Award and the NL Hank Aaron Award .