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Votto National League MVP


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Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto joined an exclusive club on Monday, when he was named the National League's Most Valuable Player, as voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The 27-year-old became only the third Canadian ever to win an MVP award, following Larry Walker, who won as a member of the Colorado Rockies in 1997 and Justin Morneau who claimed the award with the Minnesota Twins in 2006.

"There's something about having guys who have achieved before you that sets a bar you want to reach to," Votto said. "Larry was that for a lot of younger players and hopefully I can play a little bit of that role."

Votto, who hit .324 with 37 home runs, garnered 31 of the 32 first place votes cast by two writers from each National League city. He finished with 443 points, which easily outdistanced St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols who finshed with 279 points.

Colorado Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez finished third in voting with 240 points. Votto, Pujols and Gonzalez were the only players that got votes on every ballot.

Votto flirted with a Triple Crown bid for the most of season, and finished second in the NL in batting average and third in home runs with 37, as well as RBI with 113. The Toronto, Ontario native did, however, lead the NL in on-base and slugging percentage. He also hit when it mattered, notching 34 go-ahead hits in 2010, which was five more than other player in the majors.

The MVP Award came a year after Votto missed a month of the 2009 season to deal with depression and anxiety issues. Despite those issues, Votto still hit .322 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI that season.

Pujols had captured the award the last two years and has now finished in the top-10 in MVP voting in 10 straight seasons. Pujols also won this award in 2005, was second in 2002, 2003 and 2006, third in 2004, fourth in 2001 (his rookie year) and ninth in 2007.

His eight top-3 finishes are second most all-time, trailing Barry Bonds' nine.

Pujols, who received the other first-place vote, had yet another magnificent season, as he led the NL in home runs (42) and RBI (118) and was sixth in batting average (.312).

Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez finished third and was followed by San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez and Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki.

In a career-high 145 games this season, Gonzalez led all National Leaguers in average (.336), hits (197) and total bases (351), and helped keep the Rockies' playoff hopes alive until the last week of the season. He finished second among National Leaguers in RBI (117) and slugging percentage (.598), third in runs (111) and fourth in homers (34).

Gonzalez had been named the National League's Outstanding Player of the Year earlier this offseason from the MLB Players Association.

Rounding out the top 10 in the balloting were Cy Young winner Roy Halladay of the Phillies, San Francisco's Aubrey Huff, Philadelphia's Jayson Werth, Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves and the Phillies' Ryan Howard.

In all, 27 players received votes.

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never any doubt from this guy. ;)

well deserved, he's been great since day 1, but he was a machine this year. interesting stat from that article about the 34 go-ahead hits... i heard another stat about having the most homeruns that either tied, won, or separated from a 1-run lead... baseball stat geeks have a number for everything, christ... but basically, the point being he was such a catalyst for so many good things for the reds this year - and that doesnt even speak to his fielding or baserunning, just an all around complete ballplayer. love his game and i hope the redlegs can lock him up for years to come. the big red machine revival starts with votto.

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