5/7/2013 10:01 P.M. ET
Dodgers fan a recipient of Kemp's kindness
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp didn't know he was being recorded Sunday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco when he presented a young Dodgers fan battling cancer with an autographed baseball and his jersey, hat and spikes. The Dodgers outfielder didn't do it for the attention, but rather out of the kindness of his heart.
"I think life is so much bigger than baseball," Kemp said Tuesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. "We had just got swept by the Giants, but that was something I felt that I needed to do and I'm glad I got to do that. Hopefully that made the kid's day."
Kemp didn't think much of it at the time, until he woke up Tuesday morning and learned a viral video of the interaction was making the rounds on the Internet.
"I didn't know that anyone was filming. I wasn't aware," said Kemp, who hasn't seen the video.
Third-base coach Tim Wallach spoke with the boy's father during Sunday's game against the Giants, learned he was battling cancer and relayed the information to Kemp.
"Our third-base coach just told me there was a big Dodgers fan that was at the game and he didn't have a long time to live, not longer than a month and a half," Kemp said. "After the game, I just decided to go over there, shake his hand and meet him. I didn't plan on taking my jersey off. It's just something I felt that probably would have cheered him up a little bit. I just did it. I felt like it was something that needed to be done."
Kemp was surprised by the warm welcome he received from fans at the ballpark when he approached the young man.
"Actually it was first time Giants fans have ever been nice to me," the All-Star said, "so that was pretty cool right there. Giants fans were being nice."
It's moments like Sunday night that help Kemp keep things in perspective.
"Sometimes I forget how much people look at you as one of their heroes," he said. "I forget that sometimes and that kind of brings me back and reminds me that I've got to be a role model for these kids and live life right."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.