Between dressing up as a Royal Canadian Mountie, talking to Jerry Seinfield and David Letterman during games and politely tossing back bean balls at opposing pitchers, it's easy to forget that Joey Votto is one of the best hitters baseball has ever seen. This stat should serve as a reminder.
Votto, like the rest of the Cincinnati Reds, is in a slump to start the season, going 0-for-3 in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. But only a man of great standing can make the insignificant historic, which is what Votto did with a pop up to first base in the eighth inning. Because it was Votto's first pop-up to first in 6,829 plate appearances over his 13-year career.
That would be a hit-to-first-base-pop-up ratio of 1,742-to-1.
For context, no other active player with at least 50 popups has avoided hitting one to first, and the next closest player with as many plate appearances without a first base pop-up is Alex Avila...who has half as many PAs.
Given the aberration, Votto is laughing this one off, right?
"No, that’s a sign that my hitting technique is completely off," Votto told the Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans. "There’s a reason I just spent an hour hitting after a day game after a night game. It’s not good. It’s definitely not a good thing. I rarely do that. That’s why when I saw it, I was like, ‘ugh, I’ve got a lot of work to do.’ But I’m going to put in the work, I’m confident it’s going to come. So, if you’re asking about me specifically, I’m confident. If you’re asking about the team, the offense, in particular, I’m very confident."
We do not deserve Joey Votto.