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Joey Votto hanging out in the stands with Reds fans while out with injury will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

September 22, 2022

Joey Votto is one of baseball’s good guys. Sure, he’s had his rough moments, just like anyone. Yes, he’s a total weirdo. Still it’s tough not to love the genuine, childlike enthusiasm Votto brings to the ballpark. But don’t take our word for it. Just ask the few brave souls still attending Cincinnati Reds games this season, who showed up to the Great American Ballpark on Wednesday to find Votto wandering the concourse in a Barry Larkin jersey, high-fiving kids, signing autographs, and generally being the raddest.

The only thing that put a mild damper on the evening was Votto’s beard, which made the stadium-drifter act seem a little too authentic (and also never plays nice with hot dog condiments).

We jest, we jest. There really is no downside here. A lot like Votto, this was just good, clean, unblemished fun. Most guys who have spent MVP-winning careers rotting on teams like the Reds would not be donating their time and energy to the fans, but Votto is built different. He could be traded this offseason in exchange for a new recliner for Phil Castellini’s office, yet he’s still out there treating a bunch of random Ohioans like old pals. This is one of those rare situations where you really do love to see it.