St. Marys, Ont. – Etobicoke, Ont., native Joey Votto broke Larry Walker’s record for most career walks by a Canadian last night (June 28, 2017).
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman was issued his 914th career free pass in yesterday’s contest when Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Paolo Espino walked him in the bottom of the third inning in the Reds’ 4-3 win in Cincinnati.
The disciplined Votto surpassed Walker’s total in 643 fewer contests (1345) than it took Walker (1,988 games).
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will be receiving an artifact from Votto’s tying and record-breaking at bat to display at the museum in St. Marys, Ont.
Widely considered the greatest Canadian major league position player, Walker, who hails from Maple Ridge, B.C., still maintains a healthy lead in most other Canadian offensive statistical categories, including runs (1,355), hits (2,160), doubles (471), home runs (383), RBI (1,311) and total bases (3,904). He also leads Canadians in games played (1,988).
If the 33-year-old Votto, whose contract with the Reds extends through the 2024 season, continues to be productive through the duration of the deal, he could end up challenging many of Walker’s records.
As of right now, aside from the walks record, Votto also owns the top career on-base percentage by a Canadian (.424) and his on-base plus slugging percentage sits at .964, which is just .001 behind Walker’s.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame presented Votto with his sixth Tip O’Neill Award on May 29. The St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this honour annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals. Walker captured the honour nine times in his 17-year big league career.