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.”