This Joey Votto first year card has been an inexcusable absence from my collection. It was the only card missing from my 2002 Bowman team set as well. I paid a little more than I cared to, but Votto was smirking at me. Mocking me for not having a 2002 release of him. Cheeky bugger.
Votto was drafted by the Reds in 2002, at age 19, out of Canada. He spent no more that one year at each level of the Reds farm system (Gulf League, Pioneer League, A, A+, AA, AAA) before debuting for the Reds in 2007. Since then, well, let's just say you've heard of Joey Votto.
Gotta love that empty stat line. Topps had a card of Votto in their 206 set of 2002. Then Bowman threw out an autograph release in 2004 and Future's Game cards in 2006 and 2007. His true rookie cards came out 6 years after this one, in 2008. Everything else 2002-2007 is minor league issues and nonsense. So this is clearly the card to own. Done.