Joey Votto mentors Reds youth team on way to World Series win

“That’s huge for me. It shows that somebody’s out there who truly cares.”
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Cincinnati Reds RBI youth team brought back a championship trophy from Florida last weekend after winning the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) World Series.

There weren’t many people happier about that than Joey Votto.

“I’m proud of them,” he said.

Votto spent time mentoring the team during their regular season—and it was work, says RBI Senior Divison Head Coach Roosevelt Barnes.

“When Votto came out there, you know, we weren’t just taking pictures,” Barnes said. “Those guys were breaking a sweat. They were doing drills. And you know, that hour or two he spent with those guys, they got better.”

Nijel Davis, an RBI team member, will play ball at Morehouse College.

“That’s huge for me,” Davis said of Votto’s help. “It shows that somebody’s out there who truly cares.”

The night before the Reds RBI team took the field of the World Series, Votto sent the team a message. Its contents?

“Just be there for the guy next to you,” Davis said. “Leave it all out on the field. Even if it doesn’t go your way, just be there and be with your guys and just embrace the moment.”

Votto said he got something special out of his relationship with the team as well.

“Connecting with that energy level, that age range—it’s a gift because you’re reminded the game is supposed to have passion, you’re supposed to be excited, there’s supposed to be endless energy, and watching them practice and watching them play, it reminds me of my first days as an amateur player,” Votto said. “So, I’m proud of them.”

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