Matt Kemp has a special interest in the Dodgers’ upcoming series with the New York Yankees. This will be one of baseball’s budding stars’ first opportunity to meet some childhood heroes.
“I’ve never met Derek Jeter or A-Rod. A lot of those guys we’ve never played against them,” said Kemp. “To meet some of my favorite baseball players and to play against them is going to be cool, especially Derek Jeter.”
The 2009 World Champions will visit Dodger Stadium this weekend for the second time since interleague play began in 1997. The Dodgers took two out of three games from the Yankees in 2004.
At the time, Kemp was just 19 years old and in his second year of professional baseball and playing for the Columbus Catfish in Georgia. Alex Rodriguez was in his first season with the Yankees, Joe Torre was the manager and the team had a glut of stars — Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams, Gary Sheffield and of course, Jeter.
Jeter was in his 10th season, on his way to his sixth All-Star Game and first Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
“He was one of my favorite players growing up and A-Rod,” said Kemp. “It’s going to be really cool to play against that organization.”
By Aaron Bensoua
The All-Star Game is coming and your favorite Dodgers need your help. The annual Midsummer Classic is taking place on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim and now is the time to vote in the starters for each team. This year, as it’s been since 2003, the winner of the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage in the World Series. The American League is on a 12-game winning streak, but the National League, with help from the Dodgers, is looking to start a new streak.
However, the only way a Dodger can become a starter on the team is if the fans vote them in. Between now and July 1, voting is underway and you can vote up to 25 times at dodgers.com/vote or look for the All-Star Game kiosks at Dodger Stadium to vote as many more times as you’d like.
Several young Dodger fans shared their opinions on which one of their favorite Dodgers deserved to go to the game.
“Andre Ethier is the best Dodger. He definitely deserves to go,” said Charlie, 10, of Los Feliz. His younger brother Oscar, 4, had a different Dodger outfielder in mind.
“Manny Ramirez! He hits a lot of home runs!”
So whether you want to see Ethier, Ramirez, or Matt Kemp in the All-Star Game, the only way they can start is if you vote. You have the power to see which players play in this very important game.
Of course, you don’t always need on-the-field reasons to pick a Dodger. Carly, 17, of Simi Valley had her own special reason for voting for Russell Martin.
“I’m going to vote for him because he’s really cute,” she said.