Matt Kemp Hits a PR Homerun

Author: Gina Mason – Publicist – Indra Public Relations

Growing up as a San Francisco Giants fan, it’s hard for me to admit when someone from (our sworn enemy) the LA. Dodgers organization does something right. However, in a situation like this, I will gladly tip my black and orange baseball cap and give a standing ovation to Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp for his touching act of kindness.

A few weeks ago when the Dodgers visited AT&T Park to play my beloved Giants, Matt Kemp went out of his way to speak to Joshua Jones, a terminally ill Dodger fan who bravely sported his Dodger pride in hostile enemy territory.  After the game, Kemp went over to sign a quick autograph for the wheelchair-bound fan and was told of Joshua’s grim prognosis of having only 90 days to live due to inoperable spinal tumors. Clearly moved by Joshua’s story, Kemp immediately ripped off his number 27 jersey, hat and cleats for the gravely ill boy to have as a keepsake.  Click here to watch the video of Joshua on the field with Kemp: 

Apparently, Joshua’s story stuck with Kemp and he decided that giving him a jersey was not enough. So to take it a step further, Kemp decided to fly Joshua and his family down to Los Angeles and give Joshua a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the guest of honor, Joshua watched batting practice on the field while getting the chance to meet the entire Dodgers team as well as the Angels’ young baseball prodigy, Mike Trout.

Now, some critics may say that this act was a PR ploy to get some good publicity for the (as of late) highly scrutinized Dodgers organization. Kemp especially, has been taking some heat lately for his lackluster play and has been in need of a way to get back into the good graces of the Dodger nation. However, I feel that this type of generosity goes beyond media attention and publicity and I truly believe that Kemp did this out of the goodness of his heart.  Kemp went above and beyond by paying out of his own pocket for Joshua and his family to fly to LA and setting up an incredible experience. This is NOT something that your average baseball player would do to get some good press and we can only hope that more professional athletes follow in Kemp’s footsteps by helping fans in need. 

Matt Kemp clearly took a page out the late, great Jackie Robinson’s book that once said, a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. I am absolutely certain that Matt Kemp made a positive impact on Joshua Jackson’s life and the entire Jackson family will cherish those memories forever.  At Indra Public Relations, I get to work with so many great athletes who make a difference in the lives of others but to me, I found this gesture to be incredibly impactful.

Here’s to you, Matt Kemp! You are an All Star in my book!

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