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Elephant Rumblings: Tony Kemp represents Oakland A’s in Roberto Clemente Award nominations

MLB news roundup

MLB: AUG 16 Athletics at Giants Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Roberto Clemente Award is an annual honor given to the “MLB player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” It began in 1971 as the Commissioner’s Award, but was renamed for Clemente in ‘73 after the Hall of Fame outfielder died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to disaster victims.

One player is nominated every year from each of the 30 clubs, and then the winner is selected from among those 30 candidates. Last year it went to Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, and the only Oakland A’s player ever to win was Dave Stewart in 1990.

The A’s nominee this summer is Tony Kemp, who has already shown himself to be a vocal leader as well as active in the community in his brief time with the club. At the outset of the ongoing nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice this summer, he identified himself as a guiding presence and a positive role model, including launching the +1Effect campaign to promote respectful, constructive conversation between people with differing views. In addition, he helped raise money for coronavirus relief during the league’s shutdown.

Kemp is a joy on the field as well, where he plays hard and always looks like he’s having fun. Whether it’s a big smile on his face, or celebrating a big play, or goofing around with his teammates and helping keep everyone loose, he’s a shining example for any kids watching the sport — and also the perfect role player for the A’s.

For more info on all 30 nominees, click here for MLB’s roundup. Or, click here for a list of the past winners. The last several nominees for Oakland include Liam Hendriks (2019, 2017), Chad Pinder (2018), Sean Doolittle (2016, 2013), Stephen Vogt (2015), Jed Lowrie (2014), and Brandon McCarthy (2012).

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