Yahoo– According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer,Votto immediately instructed a team rep to do anything necessary to retrieve the ball that Reds teammate Zack Cozart hit for a single in the third inning of Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.
Not only was it Cozart’s first All-Star hit, it was the first hit of any kind for a Cincinnati batter since 2010. The Reds had gone a combined 0-for-25 since Scott Rolen hit a seventh-inning single off Phil Hughes at the 2010 game in Anaheim.
After being lined into left field, Cozart’s ball was returned to Dellin Betances, who served up a foul ball to Charlie Blackmon. A security guard casually tossed the ball to a 13-year-old fan named Nick Castagna in the stands, drawing Votto’s attention and piquing his interest.
From the Enquirer:
Votto alerted the Marlins public relations department, telling them he’d like to get the ball, Cozart’s first All-Star hit. Votto told Rob Butcher, the Reds media relations director, to go to his locker in the National League clubhouse and grab anything and he’d sign it to exchange for the ball. The kid, 13-year-old Nick Castagna, ended up with a signed Votto bat and two signed All-Star baseballs. Cozart got a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Joey Votto is a damn good teammate. We can debate if he’s the greatest Reds hitter ever (getting close) but what isn’t up for debate is how great of a teammate he is. Votto was in his 5th All-Star Game, this is old hat to him at this point. Zach Cozart was in his first ever All-Star Game and Votto wanted to make sure he truly remembered it.
To send a PR person into the crowd to retrieve that ball was an admirable thing to do. Votto could easily have let that ball stay with the kid that caught it. After all it’s only a $3 baseball with an ASG logo on it. The sentimental value though is worth so much, same reason you hold onto dumb things around your house. Same reason I hold on to certain tickets from games, certain press passes and newspapers. Having a ball from your first All-Star Game is pretty damn special.
Giving up a bat and two gloves is definitely worth it. Votto got what he wanted and the kid got something way better than a ball. Anyone can get a ball, it might take you decade but you’ll get one. Getting a bat and two balls (dick joke) is way more memorable than a baseball.
No one talks about how great of a teammate Votto is. He’s the veteran on this team and he has seemingly embraced that. He and Cozart also came up together, they’ve been in the trenches, they’ve been on some runs together and now they’re both All-Stars. It’s cool to see Votto appreciate how much that means to someone like Cozart who has worked so hard to get here.
Also that was the Reds first hit in the ASG since 2010 and Scott Rolen. Votto needed that ball just to prove the boys in Cincy still know how to hit.
Sill Gets The Donkey Too
Zach Cozart is still getting his donkey from Joey Votto too. This donkey is about to be the most famous donkey in the country. Hopefully Votto gives it to him this weekend when the Reds return to GABP to face the Nationals.
Joey Votto, damn good teammate.
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