Kemp reunites with SF Dodger fan in LA
Outfielder flies young cancer patient and family in for game
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp arranged a visit to Dodger Stadium on Monday for 19-year-old cancer patient Josh Jones and his family, three weeks after the All-Star outfielder made headlines by presenting the young man with his jersey, hat, spikes and an autographed baseball at a game in San Francisco.
"This is a dream come true for my son," said Josh's father, Steve, before the family watched the Dodgers host the Angels in an Interleague matchup on Memorial Day. "He doesn't even know what to say."
Kemp brought Josh, in a wheelchair, on to the field at Dodger Stadium to watch batting practice. Angels outfielder Mike Trout also took time from his routine to walk over and meet the young man, shake his hand, and take pictures, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw presented him with a bat.
"This is better than San Francisco," said Josh Jones, who flew in from Oakland courtesy of Kemp.
Kemp's growing bond with Jones began at the end of a May 5 game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, when the Dodgers star walked over to Jones and his family after third-base coach Tim Wallach told Kemp about the young man and his battle with cancer. The meeting was caught on camera, made rounds across the Internet and the story of Kemp's kindness grew.
"It's great," Wallach said. "I didn't expect it to be a story. I just was trying to give him a baseball and hopefully help make his day. As it turns out, it's been a pretty cool thing to be a part of."
Steve Jones appreciated Kemp going above and beyond.
"You don't find a lot ballplayers that would do something like that," he said. "This is too much. Matt Kemp is a great guy."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.