Exactly 38 years ago today, our little baseball world was graced with the presence of one Joseph Daniel Votto for the first time. And since that time, that lil’ slugger has swatted, walked, scored, crushed, joked, smiled, and oped his way into our baseball hearts.
Happy birthday, Joey.
In honor of the future Hall of Famer’s birthday, we here at Red Reporter HQ dove back through the ledgers to see which other players in this game’s illustrious history were capable of creating 13 TeV by colliding proton particles with extreme force at rates similar to what Joey has done during his age-37 season. The list, I’ll warn you, is both short and distinguished.
As of publish on this here article, Joey Votto has a .547 slugging percentage this season, one that I’m sure will double by season’s end as he swats the Reds into the playoffs with speed and vigor. The history of 37 year olds slugging like that is...well, it’s pretty historic, I’ll say.
Exactly 13 other players in MLB history have had a higher SLG in their age-37 season than Joey’s mark (min 450 PA). This is A Friday List, and I will list the names of those 13 players in order below:
Andres Galarraga (The Big Cat!)
That’s a group with six Hall of Famers, the greatest lefty hitter in the history of the game, a guy with enough gall to wag a finger at Congress whilst lying, Big Papi, the biggest dipper in the modern era, and a guy who pissed on his own hands to keep them ready to bat without the need for batting gloves. And for what its worth, just behind Votto on the first page of that list you’ll find luminaries like Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Stan Musial, Yaz, Adrian Beltre, Honus Wagner, and Paul Molitor, among others.
Pretty high company, folks.
Congrats on another trip around the sun, Joe Dan, and here’s to setting the age-38 season leaderboard on fire next year.
Many thanks, as always, to FanGraphs.com for having a wonderful, sortable database, as well as Graphs by Fans.