On Monday (November 22), Cincinnati Reds first baseman, and former Louisville Bat, Joey Votto overwhelmingly was named the National League's Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Today (November 23), another former Louisville Bat, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was named the American League's Most Valuable Player, giving former Bats a sweep of baseball's most prestigious individual award.
Votto received 31 of 32 first place votes and was the first Reds player to win the award since Barry Larkin did so in 1995. In 2010, Votto led the Reds to the National League Central Division Championship and their first playoff berth in 15 years. He ranked among the NL's Top 3 in 11 statistical categories, hitting .324 with 37 home runs, and 113 runs batted in.
He joins Larry Walker (1997) of the Colorado Rockies and Justin Morneau (2006) of the Minnesota Twins as the only Canadian-born players to win the Most Valuable Player Award.
In 2007 with Louisville, Votto spent the entire season with the Bats and was named to the International League All-Star team. He played in 133 games, batted .294 with 22 home runs and 92 runs batted in, and at the conclusion of the season received the Mary E. Barney Award, which recognizes the Bats' team MVP.
Hamilton led the Rangers to the World Series this season and was named the American League Championship Series MVP, as the Rangers downed the Rays to win the pennant. He batted .359 on the season with 32 home runs and 100 runs batted in, despite missing most of September with a cracked rib. He received 22 first place votes.
Like Votto, Hamilton spent time in Louisville in 2007. He played in 11 games, a six-game stint in late May, early June and a five-game rehab assignment in August, batted .350 with four home runs and eight runs batted in. They were in the lineup together in all 11 of the games that Hamilton played and in the five games in August they batted 2-3 in the order.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.