The Oakland A’s are closing out their season at the bottom of the standings with an overhaul of changes coming in the offseason, including a new location for games next season.
Another change could be a roster without Tony Kemp on it.
The talented MLBbro most likely played his last home game of the season on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, but he left the fans with something to remember him by, displaying the character that the fans of Oakland have grown to love and respect.
While suffering from a sprained ankle last Friday night, Kemp was held out of the starting lineup. However, in the ninth inning, Kemp came out to pinch hit with a runner on second to create the magic of Stephen Vogt’s home run in his last at bat in Oakland Coliseum…
It didn’t work out as well for Tony as he struck out. But the fact that wanted to he wanted to make the effort illustrates the professional the A’s were lucky to have these last few seasons.
“I kind of had a different outcome in my head like a Stephen Vogt homer,” Kemp said with a laugh. “It didn’t end how I wanted, but these last four years, I have no regrets of how I played. … It’s been a great journey. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, but I think I can look back on my time here and hold my head high for sure.”
“I for sure just wanted to at least go out there to see if I could give one more at-bat. If it’s my last time throwing on that home white, green and gold, then I was gonna do it and try to obviously get an at-bat. I’m happy they listened to me. “ I don’t think they really wanted me out there, but I kinda forced my way onto the field.”
TK will be happy to know that the feeling was mutual to get that last chance. A’s manager, Mark Kotsay made his feelings about Kemp getting a final opportunity in front of the home crowd.
“I wanted to get Tony in,” Kotsay said. “There’s a high probability that Tony won’t be back with us next year. Being that this was the last home game, the opportunity presented itself and the situation was right with a big at-bat in the ninth inning. … It was fun to see and fun to watch.”
Whether Tony Kemp comes back and dons an A’s uniform, he will be missed in the locker room. He has been the blueprint of leadership on a team that has been mired in turmoil all season long. In his last home game, the loss tied a team record for losses with 108 (Back in 1977) since moving the franchise to Oakland in 1968.
With a roster full of young prospects in the clubhouse, Kemp’s invaluable guidance and the way he conducted himself during his own adversity is what baseball is all about.
But if you think his teammates and coaches are going to miss him, it will pale in comparison to the community at large. MLBbro.com has followed Kemp’s work the last couple of seasons on how he has served the Oakland community.
He recently collected his fourth straight Dave Stewart Community Service Award.
But that’s not all. Our MLBbro was also nominated as the team representative for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award for the fourth straight season.
His nomination along with the other 29 nominees “best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
Tony Kemp has partnered with Players for the Planet and One Tree Planted and “has pledged to plant 100 trees in urban communities for every stolen base and extra-base hit which he records throughout the season. To culminate the season-long initiative, Tony will participate in a community tree-planting event this September.”
Whether Kemp returns next season or not, the fans or the Oakland community were never cheated of his efforts as a professional ball player. Even as the season winds down, our MLBbro sent his own special message to the fans via social media.