Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder Matt Kemp is an All-Star On + Off the Field [UPDATE]
It's moments like this, when Los Angeles Dodgers all-star Matt Kemp strips down on the field, giving a kid nearly his entire uniform, that bring those feelings I used to experience all baseball season long as a kid rushing back.
There's something that I couldn't explain if I tried, so special about baseball. For me it was its rich, colorful and romantic history that roped me in as a kid. It had my brother and I watching baseball, every day all summer long. To this day, despite the fact that I completely understand why people say it's boring -- it still gives me a warm comforting feeling that I just can't get from anything else.
Perhaps the best part of the video is that Kemp did it away from national television cameras. The only reason we even know about it is because someone caught it on their phone.
Would it have been special and just as heartfelt had a basketball or football player done this? Of course. But, at least for me, it would not have been as touching as this, Matt Kemp trotting back to the visitor's dugout, shoeless, after making this kid's day.
According to one post on YouTube, the boy in the video recently underwent surgery to have a brain tumor removed. I don't know for certain if that is true, but I'm sure we'll find out more about him, soon enough. When I do I'll be sure to pass it along.
Los Angeles Times update:
Watching it all, speechless, was the kid, Joshua Jones, a 19-year-old from Tracy, Calif., who is suffering from inoperable tumors in his spine and has been given 90 days to live.
“I was in shock,” Jones said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I was sitting there thinking, ‘I can't believe he's doing this.'”
Filming it all through his smartphone, creating a video that has created an Internet buzz, was his buddy Tommy Schultz.
“The shirt, the cap, wow. ... Then he took off the cleats and I was blown away,” Schultz said.
Remembering it forever will be Joshua's brother, Ryan, 20, who says Kemp dressed their entire family in wide-eyed amazement.
“I don't think words can explain how great this was,” Ryan said. “If this is the last memory of his life, it was an incredible one.”
In the case of Joshua Jones, Kemp has no idea how much bigger. A couple of weeks ago, after a three-year battle with cancer, Jones decided to stop chemotherapy treatments that no longer helped. A group of family and friends had pooled their money to buy four front-row seats so he could see his beloved Dodgers one last time.