Joey Votto is one of the best hitters in baseball, and that's helped by his outstanding approach at the plate. When he takes a pitch, it's most likely an offering he wasn't interested in or it was a ball. But he didn't achieve that without practice. As he revealed at Redsfest over the weekend, it's largely thanks to a plastic bat and ball and his brother ... who still won't forgive the slugger for the hours of backyard work.
Votto was asked if he played Wiffle ball as a kid and here's what he had to say:
"My brother's about five years younger than me and when I was about 12 or 13 years old, I bought about 20 or 30 Wiffle balls with my own money," Votto said. "And I had him throw to me. And to this day, he still complains to me because I would hit the ball and it would hit him in the face or in the middle of his body. He thinks I owe him. I bought him a car two years ago and he's still not over the Wiffle ball part of our life."
As everyone knows, no amount of material objects will ever be enough to make up for something that happened as children. No, Votto will simply have to spend the next offseason playing pitcher to his brother until the two are even.