October 20, 2023
Cincinnati Reds’ fans await word on Joey Votto’s future with the team. The 16-year veteran, who has spent his entire career with the Reds, is beloved but may have played his last game with the team.
Dr. Kremchek, who served 27 years as the Reds medical director and now consults with the team on medical issues, has treated Votto throughout this career, including performing surgery on the first basemen’s shoulder last season.
When Votto returned this season from the injury, he thanked Dr. Kremchek and Dr. Razzano in a moving social media post.
“We’ve become very good friends and I have tremendous admiration for (Joey),” Dr. Kremchek said.” He has an incredible work ethic. He works harder at his craft than anyone I have ever seen. I’ve never met a greater student of the game. He understands his job and what he must do, and he also knows what his limitations are. That’s why he is such a great ballplayer.”
Votto’s dedication to the game is noticed by younger players.
“Guys copy him,” Dr. Kremchek said. “They watch his work ethic and learn how to be better. He helps the whole team with his attitude and dedication.”
Dr. Kremchek would love to see Votto play another season with the Reds or stay with the team in some capacity.
“He loves the city, and the city loves him,” Dr. Kremchek said. “He’s great for the whole Reds’ organization. I hope he sticks around.”
Dr. Razzano, who took over this season as Reds team physician, described Votto as a total professional and a major clubhouse presence who leads by example.
“Joey Votto is such a professional from top to bottom,” Dr. Razzano said. “He has been around the game for such a long time and really knows how to treat people. He is just great to work with.
“He is extremely respectful of our process and of the medical staff and trainers who are there to help him and work with him,” Dr. Razzano said. “He listens to us and wants us to be included as part of the team. It’s not uncommon for him to sit down in the training room with us, watch a game on TV and talk not just about baseball, but ask about our families, our vacations, stuff like that. He’s a down to earth guy.”
Dr. Razzano said along with being an outstanding baseball player Votto is a mentor and leader, especially to the many rookies that made their major league debuts this season.
“There are so many young guys in the clubhouse this year, and Joey showed them how to be a professional,” Dr. Razzano said. “He showed them how to take care of their bodies. He taught them the business of baseball, including how to deal with the media, how to handle injuries, and what to know about contracts.”
“It has been a privilege to work with a future Hall of Famer,” Dr. Razzano said.