As we’ve seen several times this year, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto loves to troll fans. In May he pretended to throw a foul ball to Phillies fans sitting in the stands. When they realized they’d been denied a souvenir, they rained boos down upon him. In early July, he did the foul ball fake out with Nationals fans not just once, but twice! He even got a little handsy with the shirt of a Reds fan in the front row who tried to catch a foul ball that he was also after. (Votto apologized that very night.)
So Votto’s troll pedigree has been well established. But on Tuesday night, he took a little break from trolling to make the day of a few Reds fans.
It was the first inning of the Reds game against the New York Mets. With two outs, Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores hit a foul ball to the first base side, and Votto gave chase. He ran all the way over to the stands, and a fan in the front row reached out to catch it. For a second, it looked like it was going to be a replay of what happened the last time a fan tried to reach out and catch a ball that Votto was going for.
But instead of a replay of that shirt-grabbing situation, we got a whole different Votto. He made the catch (which was out of the fan’s reach), and right away he gave the ball to that fan, who had been clapping and cheering Votto’s catch. And then Votto turned and gave another fan a high five before running off the field with a big smile on his face.
The trolling version of Joey Votto is great, because it’s a riot to see players have a little fun with the fans and the game, especially over a long, 162-game season. But this smiling version of Votto is just as great, because it makes everyone — especially those lucky front row fans — happy. So you do you, Joey Votto, trolling or not.
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