Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Tony Kemp has made his presence known this year, not only on the Oakland A’s roster but around the community as well. Earlier this month he was named as the A’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes extraordinary character and philanthropy, and over the last week he’s garnered two more honors.
On Sunday, when the A’s were playing the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum, Kemp received the annual Bill Rigney Good Guy Award. This award is given out by local baseball writers “to players whose interactions with the media have been exceptional,” reports John Hickey of Sports Illustrated. The Giants winner was Mike Yastrzemski — coincidentally, Kemp and Yaz were college roommates at Vanderbilt.
Sunday, Tony Kemp was named the local chapter of the BBWAA’s Bill Rigney Good Guy award winner for the A’s (and his college roommate, Mike Yastrzemski) won the Giants honors. Here is Kemp receiving the award from Bob Melvin: pic.twitter.com/zX9IK6S7Jr— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 24, 2020
Not even a week later, Kemp is being recognized again. On Friday (that’s today!) he will receive the Dave Stewart Community Service Award, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
Founded in 1996 in honor of Stewart, the award is “given annually to an A’s player in recognition of charitable contributions throughout Northern California and across the nation,” per a team press release. Kemp founded the +1Effect campaign this summer, promoting respectful and constructive dialogue regarding race among people with differing views on sensitive topics, and he has also helped raise money for coronavirus relief efforts.
Recent recipients of the Stewart Award include Liam Hendriks (2017 and ‘19) and Chad Pinder (2018). The full list: Ernie Young (1996), Scott Spiezio (1997), Tom Candiotti (1998), Art Howe (1999), Jason Giambi (2000), Terrence Long (2001), Tim Hudson (2002), Scott Hatteberg (2003), Eric Chavez (2004), Barry Zito (2005), Mark Kotsay (2006), Mark Ellis (2007), Dana Eveland (2008), Dallas Braden and Kurt Suzuki (2009), Craig Breslow (2010), Josh Willingham (2011), Jonny Gomes (2012), Sean Doolittle (2013), Jed Lowrie (2014), Stephen Vogt (2015, 2016).
Baseball fans talk a lot about intangibles, all the little things and human traits that a player can bring to the table beyond just the numbers in the box score. On the field, Kemp supplements his OBP skills with some incredible, acrobatic plays at opportune moments, which might only be plainly recorded as a putout or a run scored. Off the field, this collection of awards speaks volumes about the kind of person he is, displaying leadership, generosity, compassion, professionalism, and friendliness, and all while rarely ever being seen without a smile on his face. Congrats to Kemp on his well-earned honors!
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- Game #56: Quiet 5-1 loss to Dodgers
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- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Loss! Back down into the No. 3 seed, which is a good thing.
A’s Playoff Rotation
Luzardo surprisingly pitched in relief on Thursday
Melvin says A’s wanted to keep Luzardo on regular turn and keep their options open for next week.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 25, 2020
Fiers pitched effectively on Thursday, again. Is it finally time to let him play in the postseason?
Mike Fiers says he's ready to pitch whenever in the playoffs: "I guess they want to see who we face first. A lot of things can change in the next couple of days. It's all about matchups and putting the best starter out there."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 25, 2020
Final look at the big picture
Depending on how long Bassitt pitches tomorrow night, the A's theoretically could have four starters - Manaea, Bassitt, Luzardo, Fiers - who could pitch Tuesday. Smart to maximize options, potentially depending on opponent, and to make piggy-back situation possible with anyone.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 25, 2020
Best of Twitter
J.B. Wendelken to the injured list, at an inopportune moment
The fact the A’s have not had their game postponed is an indication that if there is any kind of virus component to Wendelken going on the IL, there are not concerns with the rest of the team. Reminder: the A’s entered the bubble essentially Monday.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 24, 2020
A’s hopeful Pinder maybe gets a pinch hit AB this weekend but probably angling more for postseason. He can get plenty of ABs off the taxi squad pitchers when the team gets home.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 25, 2020
Interesting note I hadn’t considered (surely still better than last year with Profar, though)
The A's have struggled to turn double plays this season. That's something that is always important in the postseason.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 25, 2020
As the final weekend of The MLB arrives, shouts to media relations folks, from Tier 1 staff taking on press room disinfectant duty and assuming similar risks as players for a fraction of the pay, to those keeping Zoom trains running on time and press boxes clean and safe.— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) September 25, 2020
Please take a moment for the family of former A’s pitcher Aaron Brooks, whose wife Whitney and two children were injured in a car crash recently. The “he” in this tweet is young son Westin, who received the most serious injuries.
Thank you to literally everyone who have reached out, it has been so many! Another day down and more progress. He is so strong and is doing good. All your prayers have helped so much and we can't thank you all enough #WWMB36— Aaron Brooks(브룩스 ) (@AaronLBrooks) September 24, 2020
End of a great career by an easy player to like, though not one that A’s fans will be particularly interested in celebrating
BREAKING: Hearing that Alex Gordon is officially retiring. Club announcement likely will come soon.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) September 24, 2020
Just a new hype video every day now