12/15/10 10:58 PM EST
Votto named Canada's athlete of the year
By Bailey Stephens / MLB.com
Votto, a native of Toronto, was selected by a committee of sports broadcasters, columnists and editors from a list of eight finalists on Tuesday. After learning of his latest accolade, Votto humbly expressed his surprise that he'd won the award in the same year as Canada's gold medal victory in the Vancouver Olympics.
"It almost would have been better if you'd given it to the national hockey team," Votto told the Toronto Star. "I'm really honored to win this considering they won that gold medal, and Sid [Crosby] scored that goal. I was watching that game. I went bonkers, and I'm not even a hockey fan."
While his fellow Canadians captured Olympic gold on their home ice, Votto himself had plenty of success south of the border in 2010. While registering career highs in nearly every offensive category, the 27-year-old also led the National League in slugging percentage (.600) and on-base percentage (.424)
The latest honor puts the finishing touches on a season that saw Votto lead the Reds to their first playoff berth since 1995. His work on the field earned him an All-Star nod, the Hank Aaron Award and the National League MVP Award.
"I don't have any problem keeping track [of the awards]," Votto told the Toronto Star. "I respect every award, because you never know if it's going to be your last ... but I'm no hero. I'm just like everybody else. I work hard at what I do, and I've been fortunate enough to be rewarded for that hard work. But I'm just like every other human being. No pedestals."