As Votto got in the box for his first at-bat in Sunday's matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans rose from their seats and gave the first baseman a standing ovation. With this being the Reds' last homestand, this could be the last time Votto plays in front of Cincy's home fans.
The enormity of leaving the Reds and the admiration that the fans showed him had Votto feeling the love, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
“I very nearly cried,” Votto said. “I was so focused on competing that I wasn't quite there emotionally, but because it took so long, I almost got there. It was a spectacular moment for me. It was as special as it gets.”
Number 19, Joey Votto ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aYAQx86dly
The Reds hold a $20 million club option on Votto for the 2024 season. However, with their influx of young talent and the first baseman's overall play this season, it seems unlikely that Cincinnati will pick it up. With Votto going on 40-years-old, perhaps he avoids free agency all together and decides to call it a career.
Regardless of what happens after this season, Joey Votto has left his mark on the Reds. Appearing in 2,053 career games to this point, Votto has hit .295 with 356 home runs and 1,144 RBI. He was a six-time All-Star and a former MVP.
If this is the end for Votto in Cincinnati, the Reds are looking to ensure his tenure ends with a playoff run. When Votto does hang up the cleats, he will always be remembered for the legacy he built with the Reds.