The 6-year-old girl who ignited Joey Votto’s MVP-caliber season
Joey’s been playing the sort of baseball you’d tell your grandkids about. It all started with Abigail.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Joey Votto is having a heck of a year.
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman has 28 home runs and 91 RBI in just 94 games. If the season ended today, he’d have the highest slugging percentage since his 2010 MVP year.
It’s fair to say the Reds’ playoff push lives or dies on the barrel of Votto’s bat and it’s been living large since June 19.
That’s when a girl named Abigail became internet famous for a tweet her mother posted at the 6-year-old’s first-ever MLB game.
Joey Votto, Abigail’s favorite player, was ejected in the first inning of that game for arguing a check-swing call, and Abigail was briefly, adorably inconsolable. (Don’t worry! She cheered up in short order thanks to a signed ball and a heartfelt apology.)
Here’s the thing though, Votto had been having a so-so year before then. In the 52 games since, he’s absolutely been on fire.
It’s the kind of tear that turns Hall of Fame also-rans into Hall of Fame shoo-ins.
It’s also the sort of baseball that erases a six-game deficit in the wildcard standings, where the Reds are currently tied with the Padres.
What was the team’s playoff odds going into that ill-fated June game? A dismal 17%, according to Fangraphs.
Now, the Reds are favored to be playing in October.
Correlation or causation? We don’t know, but we’re giving it up for Abigail―and so are the Reds.
On Saturday, Abigail’s mother replied to a Reds tweet about Votto’s incredible change in play.
She also said Abigail has decorated her room with Joey Votto and Reds mementos she received after the game.
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