Reds star Joey Votto personally apologizes to 6-year-old fan after ejection versus San Diego Padres

First baseman comes through for fan after getting tossed
WCPO abigail baby votto fan.png
Posted at 8:44 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 21:38:05-04

(WCPO) -- Plenty of Cincinnati Reds fans were frustrated by Joey Votto’s first-inning ejection against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, but 6-year-old Abigail was heartbroken.

Her mother, Greenville, Ohio, native Kristin Courtney, wrote on Twitter it was Abigail’s first-ever Major League Baseball game. Their family had traveled from Los Angeles to San Diego's Petco Park to see the Reds play, and Abigail arrived in a Joey Votto T-shirt.

And then the ejection. Votto had gotten into an argument with two umpires, leading the officials to boot him and Reds manager David Bell from the game.

Words can’t do much justice to the picture that Courtney posted from Petco Park:

Why does the first baseman mean so much to Abigail?

Simple reasons, her mother said. They have a dog named Joey Votto, and Abigail has discovered first base is her favorite position to play in tee-ball.

“She’s been watching and learning from Joey Votto (the person, not the dog), so that has really increased her interest in the game of baseball,” Courtney wrote in a message to WCPO, ABC 10News' Scripps sister station.

And the stormy start to Saturday’s game didn’t dull her enthusiasm in the end. Votto -- the person, not the dog -- sent his personal apology to Abigail on a signed baseball.

“Someone called me down to the dugout to give me the signed ball (we are in the fourth row behind the Reds dugout),” Courtney wrote. “I’m not sure who it was, but we are so grateful to Mr. Votto and the Reds!!!”

The game didn’t have a happy ending for the Reds, who lost to the Padres 7-5, but it had a happy ending for one of their smallest fans. That’s a different kind of home run.

But the story doesn't quite end there.

The following day, Courtney tweeted that Votto and the Reds left the family tickets for the Sunday series finale.