Dear Matt Kemp, I Love You
Before I get to the point of this love letter, and it is a love letter, I want you to know that “Dodger Blue” has made me want to puke since 1987. The only thing I like about your team is not liking them, and I do that aaaaaaaaaa lot. But Mr. Kemp, even with all my animosity towards your team, I am now a huge fan of yours after what you did at Pac Bell Park Monday night. You showed us again how wonderful and powerful sports can be, and why we love it.
In case you have been on some remote island, Matt Kemp did something the other night after the Giants/Dodgers game that has captivated anyone with a pulse and a heart, and for great reason.
After the game, Dodgers third base coach, Tim Wallach, asked Kemp to come over to the other side of the field to meet a Dodger fan and his father. What got the coaches attention? This young man has cancer, and even more tragically, he has also been given only two months to live. Being a good hearted guy, Kemp went over, talked with the young man’s father. He couldn’t talk to the young man because the cancer had progressed enough to take away his speech. Judging from Kemp’s reaction to him, I think he said everything he needed to with his eyes. Kemp signed some autographs for him, shook some hands, and then did something pretty incredible, he gave him his game hat, then his game jersey, and then his game cleats.
Let’s paint this picture a little clearer. Matt Kemp, at Pac Bell Park, right after getting swept, is standing on the home dugout side of the stadium in his socks, and his undershirt. He said it was the first time the Giants fans had ever been nice to him. (Thank God!! Sometimes you worry that there would be some jackoff in the crowd being a dick at the wrong time.)
He didn’t plan on giving the kid all that stuff, he said it just felt like that may make the kid happy, even if just for a short time. He realizes the power that an athlete can have on a kid because when he was young he got blown off by his favorite basketball player (who he wouldn’t name). Luckily, he learned from that interaction, unlike other players who end up treating fans the same way (Rickey Henderson, you prick).
Thank you Matt Kemp. Thank you for being everything we hope our idols and heroes should be. Thank you for being humble. Thank you for giving everything you could to that young fan, because you knew it was everything to him. I hope other players take your gesture and think about how they treat fans. I hate the Dodgers, but I love me some Matt Kemp. Love, #JoeyWestCoast