A lot of the conversation about Saturday’s Reds/Padres game was about Joey Votto’s early and energetic ejection, alongside Reds manager David Bell. I would pay good money to know what the umpire said to Votto to rile him up, but the real story was revealed afterward.
As it turns out, the game was the first game for young Reds superfan Abigail, who just happened to be a massive Joey Votto fan. Abigail was clearly devastated following the ejection, and the result was this crushing photo being shared on Twitter.
The Reds social media account immediately responded to the post, and before the end of the game, Abigail had a brand new souvenir with a personal apology from Votto, reading “I am sorry I didn’t play the entire game.”
I have an update on the sad Abigail situation! It took a couple of innings, but she eventually cheered up with some popcorn! And Joey Votto is SO KIND- he signed this amazing ball for her!! Thank you so much Mr. Votto & the wonderful @Reds ❤️⚾️ pic.twitter.com/aIsHx3r42N— Kristin (@SuperBarry11) June 20, 2021
And the story gets even better as Abigail returned to the park on Sunday and got to meet Joey Votto in person.
Joey got to meet his biggest fan, Abigail. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/S6GySOo6BK— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 20, 2021
And this, friends, is the face of a future life-long baseball fan.
A VERY happy little Joey Votto fan at bedtime tonight!!! ❤️⚾️ A big thank you again to Joey Votto and the @Reds for making Abigail’s first MLB game so special and memorable! pic.twitter.com/iKrQWHrx4E— Kristin (@SuperBarry11) June 20, 2021
- The other big story coming out of Sunday was that the Rays would be calling up top prospect Wander Franco. Kiley McDaniel dives into what makes Franco so exciting.
- Adam Berry brings us more on the call-up. He also has a complete FAQ on what to expect from Franco.
- Michael Baumann asks what will happen after the MLB stuck stuff crackdown.
- Ken Rosenthal also thinks the hardest part is still to come in terms of what comes next with Stickygate. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Over at FanGraphs, BCB’s Sara Sanchez explores how there are still plenty of home runs happening.
- Thomas Williams spotlights the rather humiliating triple play suffered by the Blue Jays this weekend.
- Dan Szymborski thinks that if the Padres want to improve they need to look at first base in particular for an upgrade.
- Jayson Stark has his weekly weird and wonderful column with a no-hitter focus. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Shohei Ohtani is participating in the Home Run Derby! Story by Madeline Coleman.
- Alden Gonzalez looks at the highlight reel of Ohtani’s season so far, both at the plate and on the mound.
- Jake Mailhot looks at the ups and downs of Akil Baddoo throughout the 2021 season.
- The SI cover story leading into the weekend, by Tom Verducci, is of Pablo Cruz, a baseball agent, and the tragedy that stayed with him forever.
- Gio Urshela avoided serious injury after taking a bat splinter to the eye, writes Chris Cwik.
- A Juneteenth retrospective on the incredible Black athletes of Minnesota baseball.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.