NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 9, 2013

Kemp makes cancer-stricken fan's day

(Continued)

“I mean, we’d just gotten swept by the Giants, but that was something I felt I needed to do, and I’m glad I got to do that,” Kemp added. “Hopefully, that made the kid’s day. I don’t even know his name. God willing, a miracle happens and he lives for a while. But his father told Wally that he didn’t have much time left on this Earth.”

An incident that occurred when Kemp was 12 years old helped contribute to his positive attitude toward fans — particularly those who are experiencing hardships.

“One of my favorite basketball players — I’m not going to say who it is — kind of played me,” Kemp recalled. “I asked him for his autograph and he said he was busy. As a kid, you always remember those things and it kind of sticks with you. So as much as I can sign, I try. I know fans get mad when I tell them I have to do something at that moment. But I try to do as much as I can.”

Kemp’s recollection was similar to something that happened to former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who was rebuffed by one of his favorite players when he was growing up. As fate would have it, he later faced that same player in a game and hit him with a pitch.

“I don’t think some athletes understand what they can do with a simple gesture and how big it is, just shaking a kid’s hand or saying ‘Hi’ to him. It can make a fan’s day — or a fan’s life,” Kemp said.

“I get really emotional, especially with kids, because they can’t control anything that’s going on. You can’t control these diseases like cancer and other things that are going on. Some of these kids get their childhoods taken away from them, and they’re unaware of anything other than just living life. So if there’s a way that I can make any kid in that situation happy, then I’m going to continue to do what I can.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Special Features