Clemente nod underscores Votto’s passion to connect

CINCINNATI — When Joey Votto helps people in need, the Reds first baseman prefers to do it quietly and anonymously. Votto will gladly accept accolades for his efforts on the field but expects nothing for what he does for his community.

Nevertheless, the community appreciates Votto, and the Reds underscored that again by naming him their recipient for the Roberto Clemente Award for community service a second consecutive year.

In recent seasons, and especially in 2022, the discomfort Votto has felt in interacting with the public has waned and his ability to connect has increased. That included his joining multiple social media platforms.

“Now I feel like I’m with the fans. There’s no barrier. We’re all one together,” Votto told MLB Network earlier this month. “With that comfort come those moments between the fan base — whether road or home — and myself. It’s been really enjoyable to feel the transition during the course of my career. I feel safe and I feel like I’m meeting new people and making new friends.

“That’s the same thing with the things that I’m doing in the community. I try really hard not to share it publicly but there’s plenty of moments where I’m connecting with the community and doing some things that I feel like motivate and energize me to be a better version of myself.”

Among the largest contributions made by Votto during his Reds career was to the P&G Cincinnati…

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