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joey votto, 2008 upper deck #349, reds

Player: Votto, Joey

Card: 2008 Upper Deck #349

Position: 1B

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Toronto, Canada-born Joseph Daniel Votto (born September 10, 1983) is a six-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.

He was selected by the Reds in the second round of the 2002 amateur draft. A catcher at the time, his high school did not have a baseball team, yet he was still picked 44th overall. He debuted professionally with the GCL Reds, hitting .269/.342/.531 in 50 games with 9 home runs. He played primarily DH and third base that year. Joey's 25 extra-base hits was tied for the Gulf Coast League lead. In 2003, Votto led Reds farmhands with a .406 OBP. Votto led the Pioneer League in both walks and OBP. Now ensconced at first base, he led the league's players at that position in putouts (517), assists (36), double plays (48) and fielding percentage (.979).

Baseball America rated Joey as the #5 prospect in the Reds system entering 2004. Votto continued to impress during that season, leading Reds minor leaguers in OBP once more (.413) and also having the most walks (90), hits (143), total bases (237) and RBI (93) of their minor leaguers.

In the 2005 Baseball World Cup he hit .333/.371/.833 with 5 home runs, 10 runs and 16 RBI for Team Canada. Joey also won the 2006 Player of the Year Southern League Chattanooga Lookouts, and made the 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. After breaking into the majors in 2007, in 2008 he led all National League rookies in batting average (.297), hits (156), home runs (24), total bases (266), multi-hit games (42), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.506). In respect to fielding, he established a Reds record for first basemen with 136 assists. He finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting to Geovany Soto with virtually identical stats, but Votto leading in all major categories except one.

Votto is a model of consistency - he's played 150 games or more seven times. Twice, in 2017 and 2013, he played the full 162 game schedule and he played in 161 games in 2011. In 2015 and 2016 he took the field 158 times.

He's finished in the top-10 for MVP voting 6 times, winning in 2010 (.324, 37 home runs, 113 RBI) and finishing second in 2017. Joey also is a 7-time NL On-Base Percentage Leader (2010-2013 & 2016-2018), NL Slugging Percentage Leader (2010), 2-time NL OPS Leader (2010 & 2017), and NL Doubles Leader (2011).

A disciple of Ted Williams, Joey's hitting is special by any standard, as his combined OBP, ability to hit to all fields, line-drive-centric hitting and power combination is rare, as explained via his 2016 season in which he hit .400 for the second half of the season (as noted here). During his career, he has held the highest OBP when reaching a full count in the majors, and his tactic of "choking up" on the bat with two strikes is an art that has largely disappeared in baseball. Despite not being flashy, and having played for a team that is not a perennial playoff team, his case for the Hall of Fame is pretty clear.

You can catch Joey on Twitter @joey_votto29.

(excerpted from Baseball AlmanacBR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


MLB Network, Feb 2021
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2021 Bowman Chrome #2
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2021 Topps Stadium Club #31
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2022 Gypsy Queen Gem Minis #GGM-5
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2022 Topps #290
2023 Topps 1988 Silver Pack #T88C-96
2023 Topps #19
2024 Topps #19


Listen to Larry Baldassaro’s interview with Joey here – or view the Next Stop on the Baseball Italian Style Tour

Joey is part of the MVP/Cy Young Tour – Go To The Next Stop

Votto is part of the MLB Current Players Tour – Go To The Next Stop

Joey is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all Votto’s baseball cards at TCDB

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