Sadly, the Cincinnati Reds are about to end their season without a run for the World Series, but Canadian native Joey Votto remains solid.
Recently Votto, 26, has made some history. The first baseman was named National League Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 28th. He had 14 hits, which was a major league best, including 10 doubles and 11 runs scored.
Votto has been the first player to hit 10 doubles in a five game span since Hall of Fame player Paul Waner, aka "Big Poison" in 1932. He also had 8 RBI, a 1.080 slugging percentage (leading the national league), and .593 on-base percentage during the week.
The ability for Votto to be playing with such strength at the end of a tough season is what makes him such a great player.
After the death of his father in August of 2008, Votto has claimed to be dealing with anxiety and depression. After missing time in May due to dizziness from an inner-ear infection, Votto went on the DL in June for stress-related issues.
In the Dayton Daily News on Jun. 24th, Votto opened up about his depression: “From the beginning of the offseason to the beginning of spring training, I was severely depressed—dealing with sadness, fear, and anxieties.”
“Taking the time away from baseball and recovering from being sick was the first time all my emotions hit me, and they hit me 100 times harder than what I was dealing with in the offseason,” Votto said. “I’ve had friends from Toronto come down to be with me because there were nights when I couldn’t be alone. The one night I was alone, the first night, was the night I called 911.”
A Reds.com Article" target="_blank">reds.com article quoted Votto: "Being able to tell myself that I went through something, overcame it and played—I'm a pretty humble guy, but I'm pretty proud of how resilient I was during all of that."
Votto made his major league debut on Sept. 4th, 2007 and ended the short season 2-for-4, having a home run and 5 RBI. In 2008, Votto was named Runner-up Rookie of the Year behind Chicago Cub's Geovany Soto. For the 2009 season, Votto is hitting a team-best .318 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI.
What makes Votto such an outstanding player? Yes, the numbers written up in stat books are very impressive, but his ability to fight through personal issues and become NL Player of the Week all in the same season, while still maintaining the team-best batting average, proves that Joey Votto is one outstanding player.