When Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp stopped to talk to an ill fan three weeks ago, then ended up giving the fan his jersey, cleats and hat, Kemp won more good-guy points than we could even count. Even from Giants fans.
In baseball time, that event feels like ages ago. Since then, the Dodgers have been flooded with rumors that their manager Don Mattingly might get axed. Kemp himself was scrutinized for another good deed off the field, then benched on the field because of uncharacteristically lackluster play.
The baseball newscycle had almost forgot about Joshua Jones, the 19-year-old fan for whom Kemp almost undressed. But Kemp hadn't. His goodwill toward Jones — who is terminally ill with cancer and who recently had brain surgery — didn't stop when the Dodgers outfielder pulled off his cleats.
In fact, Kemp flew Jones and his family to Los Angeles to see the Dodgers play on their home turf. Jones is from Tracy, Calif., and his famous encounter with Kemp happened on the field of the rival San Francisco Giants.
Jones got star treatment at Dodger Stadium on Monday, meeting with Kemp on the field, as well as Dodgers president Stan Kasten, Angels star Mike Trout and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 27, 2013
Let's remember that all this started with Joshua Jones' dad, Steve, asking Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach if he could get Kemp to come say hi to his son.
"You don't find a lot of ballplayers who will do something like that for you," Steve Jones told MLB.com. "I asked him to come over and say hello to my son and he's done a lot more than that."
Kemp was booed by fans Monday at Dodger Stadium when he struck out in the third inning of a game the Dodgers eventually won 8-7. But you can be sure one family wasn't booing Kemp.
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