Baseball eras come and go faster than you think. The game you remember as a child is played differently than the one you are now enjoying as an adult. It’s not unrecognizable but it has changed. That’s true now, and it’s probably always been true.
The game is played much differently now than when future Hall of Famer Joey Votto was born, which was in 1983. That year marked the final big-league campaign for, among others, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.
If that reference to Votto as a future Hall of Famer gives you pause — and reportedly Votto himself abhors the description, so sorry about that, Joey — well, that’s what I want to talk to you about. In short, it’s not so much about how I see Votto as a Hall of Famer but how anyone possibly could not, and I think the answer has something to do with the uncertainty around changing standards.
Votto is not just a future Hall of Famer. He’s the archetype of what a Hall of Famer from his generation looks like and probably the generations to follow him as well.