Joey Votto: Cincinnati Reds 1B homers, gives gear to young cancer patient

By Alex Butler

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- All-Star Joey Votto is having a stellar season, but he made his best play off the field by giving his gear to a young cancer patient.

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman performed the gesture Thursday in a 7-2 victory against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.


Votto, 33, was up to bat in the seventh inning against Mets righty Jeurys Familia when his team led 4-2. He took Familia's first offering, a 92.9 mph slider, for a ball before settling in. Votto eyed Familia's next offering before belting the 92.4 mph slider halfway up the right field stands for his 34th home run of the season.

The five-time All-Star and 2010 National League MVP touched home plate and then walked over to the dugout. But he didn't emerge for a curtain call, instead he walked over to the netting near the dugout and reached his bat over the transparent wall, handing it to 6-year-old Walter Hebert.

Votto also took off his jersey and gave it to the little boy.

Hebert, a.k.a. "Superbubz," is battling stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, according to the team.

"These are the days you remember when you have the bad days," the boy's father Wally Herbert told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Votto opted not to talk about the act of kindness in his postgame interview with the media.

"I honestly, I don't really want to chat about this one," he said.

Instead, the star first baseman instead told reporters about the charitable efforts of his former teammate, Jay Bruce. The Beaumont, Texas, native opened up a Twitter account to try and raise money for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The outfielder is matching donations up to $100,000 at

Votto also mentioned that the Hebert family is holding a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Public House in Cincinnati.

The Reds star currently leads the league in games played (134), walks (113), on-base percentage (.448) and intentional walks (14). He was 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in the win. The Reds battle the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

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