Everyone has role models.

For Joey Votto it was his Etobicoke Rangers coach Bobby Smyth.

Everyone has someone they'd want to grow up to be like.

For the Cincinnati Reds all-star it was Scott Thorman, another left-handed hitting first baseman.

"He signed for all that money and received all that attention when he went in the first round and wasn't that far from where I lived," Votto told reporters Monday at Arrowhead Stadium during the National League players briefing.

"Scott Thorman was the phantom I was chasing, drafted 27th overall, received $1.2-million US signing bonus ... I think."

Thorman was selected 30th overall from Team Ontario — eight picks ahead of Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson. The Cambridge native was given a $1.225-million bonus by Dayton Moore, then the Atlanta Braves scouting director in 2000 and now general manager of the Kansas City Royals.

Votto was a year younger, but wasn't drafted the next summer.