Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 40: An Act of Kindness. A Happy Fan.

This week has been long. Like way longer than five days. I'm pretty sure someone snuck another day into my work week, but I can't really prove it. Between the piles of work, the Red Sox recent skid and the accusations of PED use for Big Papi, it's been a rough one too. So... allow me to end the week on a high note. A note that shows professional athletes can have the biggest of hearts when it comes to making their fans happy.

I came across a video today that has restored my faith in humanity. And made me cry. LA Dodgers' outfielder, Matt Kemp, made a young fan's day. The act was unplanned, un paid for, and best of all, unselfish. The Yahoo Sports account of the events opened like this:
There was never supposed to be a video. Matt Kemp's uncommon act of kindness was never supposed to go farther than an ailing boy, his dad and the baseball star.
You just knew to gather up a few tissues before watching the video. That's your grab a couple of Puffs. Don't say I didn't warn you.


A boy, Joshua Jones, and his father, Steve Jones, sat Sunday night in front-row seats at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The boy was in a wheelchair. Early in the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the father struck up a conversation with Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach. He said his son was very sick, that he was a Dodgers fan, and that his favorite player was Kemp. The boy, who has cancer, is unable to speak.  
"He just kind of looked at me," Kemp said.  
Matt Kemp made an otherwise forgettable trip to San Francisco extraordinary for one Dodger fan. (USA Today Sports) … Wallach brought them a baseball. Later in the game, he told Kemp about Joshua. And when the game ended – Kemp had made the last out in a loss, the Dodgers' fourth in a row – Wallach returned to the dugout and found Kemp waiting for him. He wanted to go see the boy in the stands. In the video that was recorded and uploaded by Tommy Schultz, a friend of Joshua, Kemp and Wallach walk together toward the ailing boy and his father. Kemp reaches out to shake the Joshua's hand, and instead he gets a baseball, which the boy had in his right hand.  
Seated below field level, the boy looks with wide eyes as Kemp signs the baseball. The boy beams silently. Kemp returns the ball and then, in a ballpark full only a few minutes before, as onlookers laugh and cheer, Kemp removes his cap and hands it to the boy. He pulls his jersey – No. 27 – over his head and hands that, too, over the rail. And he unties his cleats, pulls off the right and then the left, and gives them to the boy so that his lap is piled with most of Matt Kemp's uniform.
For the rest of the story, click here. It's worth the read but keep those tissues handy. I don't know a lot about Matt Kemp except he plays with a few former Red Sox that I don't really care for. I do know that he's a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner who seems to be struggling a little bit in the early days of this season. But then again, so is the whole team. The Dodgers are currently in last place in the NL West and are in the midst of a 7-game skid. For Matt, and maybe his whole team, this good deed won't go unnoticed.
"You have some good stories and some sad stories," Kemp said. "God puts them there to remind you."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the heads up on needing some tissues. Great post. Great deed.