Reds first baseman Joey Votto points to first base coach Delino DeShields after DeShield's son singled in the first for the Rangers on Friday, June 14, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Votto said, "You can't cheer!"
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Votto rejoices in first championship for Raptors, his hometown team

Reds first baseman has a special gift for Raptors star if he stays in Toronto

While the Cincinnati Reds scored a minor victory this week by moving out of last place for the first time since April, their star player earned a major victory as a fan.

FATHERS DAY: DeShields family reunites as Reds, Rangers meet

Joey Votto’s hometown NBA team, the Toronto Raptors, claimed their first championship Thursday by beating the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif.

“I’ve been a Toronto Raptors fan since the first tip 25 years ago,” Votto said Friday in an interview posted to Twitter by the Reds, “and now I get to witness a championship. The entire city gets to witness a championship.”

Votto then thanked Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, the training staff and the front office before naming each of the players on the roster. He called Kyle Lowry “the greatest Raptor of all time” and the “heart and soul of the team.”

» ASK HAL: Are Reds meeting expectations?

When he got to Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, the MVP of the finals, Votto had a special message and a special gift in mind to help Leonard navigate public transportation in Toronto.

“Kawhi Leonard, a clear all-time great,” Votto said. “Thank you for coming to our team. Thank you for playing as hard and consistent as you did. You’re a free agent now. It’s obviously your choice, but if you decide to stay in Toronto, I have an unused Presto pass with your name on it.”

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