There were no reporters. No TV cameras. This was not a publicity stunt. The Good Man Project tells us how Matt Kemp did an amazing thing for a young Dodgers’ fan who is battling cancer.
When he thought no one was paying attention, he made Joshua Jones’ day.
It was no publicity stunt—Matt Kemp just wanted to make a San Francisco game special for a young Dodgers fan battling cancer.
Joshua Jones watched the game with his father and his friend Tommy Schultz. He watched Kemp, his favorite player, while sitting in the front row in his wheelchair. During the game, his father got to chatting with the Dodgers’ third base coach, Tim Wallach, telling him about his son’s cancer and how much he loved the team and Kemp.
Wallach told Kemp about Joshua, and when the game was over (the Dodgers lost by a hair to the Giants), Matt Kemp ran out to where the boy was seated. Knowing that Joshua couldn’t speak because of the cancer and his treatments, Kemp said nothing. He just reached up, pulled off his cap, and handed it to Joshua. Then his jersey. Then, still on the field, Kemp unlaced his cleats and gave them to the awe-struck fan. He shook Joshua and his father’s hands, then jogged back to the dugout in his socks. No camera crew came with him, no reporters hovered and took notes—he didn’t even know that Tommy was recording him.
“It’s just something I felt probably would have cheered him up a little bit, help him out a little bit,” Kemp said later, after he saw the viral video. “I just did it. Hopefully that made that kid’s day.”
On Instagram later, Joshua posted a picture of the gifts with a single line: “Thanks Matt. I will never forget that moment!!!”