Tag Archives: matt kemp

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #21 – Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #21 – Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

I am working on this set because I find it to be the most appealing of the subsets issued by Topps in 2012.

The cards feature bold colors, great images, and a unique horizontal design.

I especially like the ‘Career Day’ theme as it pays homage to some of the greatest individual performances of baseball’s elite players.

Card #21 – Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

CAREER DAY 21

The Career Day – September 22, 2011.  Facing the rival Giants, Kemp had a memorable game against his foes by going 4-for-5 on the day with three doubles and a home run.  Kemp scored 3 runs and drove in 2 more in the Dodgers win.

Progress – 21/25

Jose Bautista & Matt Kemp Win Hank Aaron Award For Offensive Excellence

Jose Bautista & Matt Kemp Win Hank Aaron Award For Offensive Excellence

ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) – Jose Bautista
of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers were named winners Monday of the Hank Aaron Award as the outstanding offensive players in their respective leagues.

Bautista led the majors leagues in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.608)
and walks (132).

Kemp narrowly missed winning the Triple Crown, leading the National League in home runs (39) and runs batted in (126) while finishing third in batting average
(.324).

Bautista was the first American League player since Babe Ruth in 1930 to
record at least 40 home runs, 130 walks and nine stolen bases in the same
year.

The Blue Jays slugger also won the award last year with a breakout 2010
season in which he hammered 54 home runs and batted in 124, and was able to
silence those who did not believe he could follow it up.

“More satisfying to me was just to be able to get on the field and be out
there with my team mates and contribute on a daily basis to try to help the team
win games,” he said.

“It’s not really my goal to prove anybody wrong or to come out and show the
critics wrong.”

Despite Kemp’s offensive fireworks, the Dodgers missed the playoffs after
finishing 82-79.

“Your goal is to make it to the playoffs and to get a chance to make it to
the World Series,” said Kemp. “Unfortunately our team wasn’t as good as some of these other teams that made the playoffs this year, but you want to showcase
your talents.”

“It was just one of those years that didn’t happen. There’s always next
year.”

The winners were selected through a combination of fan vote and a panel of
Hall of Famers, including Roberto Alomar, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor and
Aaron.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Surprises From The 2011 Baseball Season’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Surprises From The 2011 Baseball Season’

Man, oh man – what a season it was!!!

Just days removed from the end of the 2011 major league baseball season and just days into the start of the playoffs, I am still very excited by all of the great action and performances we got to witness during the year.

So, here are my ‘Top Ten Surprises From The 2011 Baseball Season’:

Honorable Mention – Derek Jeter’s re-emergence as a star, Cliff Lee’s dominance, Ivan Nova’s success, Ryan Vogelsong’s future, Justin Masterson’s maturity, Eric Hosmer’s power, and Matt Morse’s play.

10 – Lance Berkman’s climb back to dominance and defensive presence after moving back to the outfield after many years as a first baseman.

9 – Roy Halladay’s ability to convert on a sacrifice.  In just his second season in the National League, Halladay converted 16 sacrifices, up from 2 in 2010.

8 – Ryan Braun’s chase for the batting title.  We all know that he is a superstar, and an all-around offensive weapon.  His .332 average is twenty points above his average – and his power numbers did not suffer one bit!!

7 – Matt Kemp’s emergence as a 5-tool player.  Kemp was the only real threat for the Triple Crown in 2011.  And when mixed with his success on the base paths and in the field, Kemp is building a solid career for himself.

6 – Victor Martinez’s ability to dominate.  On a roster full of young and incredible talent, it was V-Mart that rose to the occasion more often than his teammates.  With .330/12/103 on stat sheet, Martinez was the fuel to Detroit’s engine.

5 – Ian Kennedy’s 21-4 record.  Winning 84% of his starts, Kennedy makes a strong case for the Cy Young Award.  His 3.6:1 strikeout to walk ratio is unreal for a 26-year old in just his 2nd full season.

4 – Craig Kimbrel’s 46 saves – a rookie record.  Kimbrel was unreal for the Braves – and his 127 strikeouts in 77 innings pitched is the perfect recipe for a great closer.

3 – Dan Uggla’s 33-game hit streak.  It’s very rare that a slugger has the patience to put together a hit streak of this kind.  And while this was considered a ‘down’ year for Uggla as it relates to total hits and batting average, his 33-game hit streak was the league’s best of 2011.

2 – Curtis Granderson’s ability to compile stats like the big-boys.  We’ve all known that Granderson was a highly skilled player – but to do what he did in one season is remarkable.  1st in runs scored, 1st in RBI, 2nd in home runs, and 2nd in triples makes a strong argument for the AL MVP.

1 – James Shield’s 11 complete games.  Shields threw more complete games than 26 major league clubs – SERIOUSLY!!!  The last time a starting pitcher recorded double-digit complete games in one season?  1999.

And there you have it – my ‘Top Ten Surprises From The 2011 Baseball Season’.

Did I miss anything?  Let me hear it!!

And next week, we’ll take a look at my ‘Top Ten Disappointments From The 2011 Baseball Season’.

Thanks for reading!!

Dodgers Player Matt Kemp Join The ’30-30 Club’

Dodgers Player Matt Kemp Join The ’30-30 Club’

By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com

LOS ANGELES — Matt Kemp crushed a long home run to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday’s 6-1 win over the Rockies, making him just the second Dodger to reach 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases, and the fastest to do so.

Kemp joins Raul Mondesi, who accomplished the feat in  1997 and ’99. He did so on a 3-1 pitch off lefty reliever Matt Reynolds.

As Dodger Stadium fans chanted “MVP,” Kemp took three pitches and fouled one off before he crushed the fastball 427 feet to straightaway center field.

“I’ve always thought I could do it,” Kemp said. “I can run. I can put a little bit of power in it. I just had to put it all together at the same time. It’s pretty special.”

On the season, Kemp is hitting .323 with 98 RBIs to go along with his 30 homers and 33 steals. He is in the top four in the league in all three categories.

“I’m just happy I got to do it here in L.A.,” Kemp said after the game. “The fans have always supported me. We still got a long way to go.”

No Dodger has ever reached the 40-40 club, and when Kemp was asked about the mark, he responded, “Maybe one day.”

Manager Don Mattingly praised Kemp both before and after the game, specifically noting how much Kemp’s leadership role has meant to the team.

“It’s been a tremendous season for him in all areas of his game — leadership and the whole thing,” Mattingly said. “It’s been a joy really to have Matt playing this way, and his leadership in the dugout. The presence he brings, but not only that, this guy gets ready to play every day and plays hard every day.”

The last Major Leaguer to reach the 30-30 club was Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler, in 2009.

 

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

Dodgers’ backfield workouts 10-11:30 a.m.
Glendale, Ariz.

Didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. Figured that most of the starters would be at the away game in Tucson. However, the only starter to travel was Loney. The rest were back in Glendale. And this time I would only have to battle a few dozen people. It sure is a lot different when you’re not competing with a million other graphers.

Don Mattingly: 1/1 (Beckett magazine from 1990)…signs daily but for some reason only in one spot. “You guys know where I do it.”
Chad Billingsley: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)….Real friendly guy. Signed for at least 20 minutes after the workout
Hiroki Kuroda: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Clayton Kershaw: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Andre Ethier: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Matt Kemp: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…had the ROMLB ready but this time he was SPing. not sure why because the other day at A’s he was giving SSs
Russ Martin: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…he stopped his car on the way out of the parking lot and was VERY friendly
Manny Ramirez: 0/1…while riding a three-wheeler back to the clubhouse….would’ve been the perfect time to do it because there were only a handful of graphers there

A’s at White Sox
Glendale, Ariz.
11:30-4

Kevin Kouzmanoff: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)….graph worse than the one he gave me a few days ago. This time it was just “KK”
Coco Crisp: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…great dude. asked him to tell me how he got the Coco nickname (his real name is Covelli) but he said it was a long story….took pics with…even shouted into someone’s cell phone
Kurt Suzuki: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)….a bit weird, in addition to being difficult, when I saw him in NYC. but very cool today
Daric Barton: 1/1 (’08 Ginter state card)….only a handful of people even cared about getting his graph yet he couldn’t do his second ’08 Ginter. “I told you I’m only doing one.” weird dude.
Eric Chavez: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Ozzie Guillen: 1/1 (’89 Donruss DK)…i like his graph
Jake Peavy: 1/2 (’08 Ginter). would’ve gotten him on SS but didn’t want another ball that had no Cy inscription. got lucky again as I left the game in the 6th inning and got Peavy two minutes later in the parking lot
Mark Buehrle: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…he couldn’t have been cooler. going to get his perfect game 8×10 done next

Indians at Royals
Surprise, Ariz. (My favorite stadium in the Cactus League)
5-9 p.m.

Eric Hosmer: 1/1 (8×10 with help). Didn’t want to bother doing the minors ‘cuz I wanted to graph the majors as soon as I arrived. So a big thank-you to Tony, a local grapher, for the help
Grady Sizemore: 1/1 (Rich Abel 5×7 that I’ve had since ’02)..Mine was the only graph he signed all night…I’ll have plenty of time to get his Ginter done since I’m seeing the Indians two more times before I leave
Yuniesky Betancourt: 0/1
Billy Butler: 0/1..wouldn’t even acknowledge me
Mike Aviles: 0/1…wouldn’t even acknowledge me
Zack Greinke: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1…only signing team balls. and even then he was killing them all with a black Sharpie. weird dude.
Rick Ankiel: 0/1….he did sign a bit but I missed him because I was getting Sizemore

Other: Ernie Young was at the A’s-Sox game, but I had nothing for him. … I have to plug AZ Cards. Stopped by there a few days ago and had a long talk with proprietor Donald Yost, who promptly gave me two free tickets to today’s White Sox game. The store is loaded with cool stuff and has the best prices on ROMLBs in all of Phoenix. … Bob Feller signed autographs for free at the Indians-Royals game in Surprise. I’ve gotten the guy so many times that I didn’t even bother. … Talked to Jordan Danks briefly while waiting outside the player parking lot. Real polite kid.

‘On The Road With psugator02′ – March 24 & 25, 2010

‘On The Road With psugator02′ – March 24 & 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

L.A. Dodgers at Oakland A’s
Phoenix, AZ

After some problems with the rental car I was forced to take the city bus from the airport so I didn’t make it to the game until 7:30 p.m. Met up with angelsfan, who has to be the prettiest grapher on this board, and a friend from South Florida. The Dodgers brought the entire starting lineup, which was a shock to me considering that’s not something that usually happens in the Grapefruit League. Most of the Dodgers’ starters were pulled halfway through the game, which is when we decided to leave our seats for the bus. Shocked at how accommodating the players were:

James Loney: 1/2 (Ginter)…said he didn’t have time to sign the second
Casey Blake: 1/1 (Ginter), 1/1 with help (Ginter)..signed but didn’t seem too happy about it
Matt Kemp: 1/1 (Ginter)….wanted to ask him about Rhiana but I didn’t LOL
Hiroki Kuroda: Actually jogged around the fans waiting by the bus so he wouldn’t have to sign
Andre Ethier: 1/1 (Ginter)
Rafael Furcal: 1/1 (Ginter)
Joe Torre: 0/1…said there were too many people even though I only counted six. seemed to be in a bad mood

Other: Mattingly and the entire coaching staff wouldn’t even acknowledge fans

and the surprise of the night:

Tommy Lasorda: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…he only signed three. was with a handler who kept saying that “Tommy can’t sign anymore. Get him tomorrow at Camelback.” Well once the handler got in the car to pick up Tommy I shouted, “Hey Tommy, would you mind signing?” And he motioned for a friend and I to come over. I”ll just say this: Lasorda looked like death and I mean that in the nicest way. He had trouble walking and appeared to be out of it at least in the 5 minutes I interacted with him. Whatever is wrong, I wish him the best.

Next up on Thursday: Rangers at Angels (day) and A’s at Giants (night)

____________________________________________

Thursday, March 25

Texas Rangers at LA Angels
10:15-4:30

Got there at about 10:15 and Weaver, Wood and Santana were already on the backfields and the Rangers’ team bus had already arrived. Had to graph the stadium before the game started and I’m never a big fan of that. But all in all I did pretty well.

Josh Hamilton: 1/1 (11×14 in blue Sharpie) on the LF berm, 1/1 (8×10 in black Sharpie) on the berm, 2/2 (Ginters) after the game….also took a pic with…this dude is awesome. he actually parked in the public lot if you can believe that…..you can really see that after all he’s been through he really understand what’s important and that’s being cool to the fans
Nelson Cruz: 2/2 (8x10s) in public lot after game, 2/2 (Ginters) in public lot after game
Ron Washington: 1/1 (Senior League Baseball card)….We reminisced about the Senior Baseball League, which had a team only a few minutes from where I live. Wished him luck in 2010 and he said,”Thanks, babe.”
Chris Davis: 2/2 (Ginters) before game, 1/1 (Ginter) after game in public lot
Hideki Matsui: 0/1 just missed him as he signed about 20 in the sixth inning while leaving the field for the clubhouse
Tori Hunter: 1/1 (Ginter) in the boldest black Sharpie I have ever seen, 1/1 (’08 Ginter state card)…this dude is great..always smiling, chatting with fans and taking pictures
David Murphy: 2/2 (Ginters)

and the surprise of the day…………

Vlad Guerrero: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…I purposely left my SI at home because I’ve never seen or heard of him signing. And then when I saw him doing SPs all I had left was the Ginter. But no regrets as I need him to complete the set. I told him that I don’t know anyone who can sport a goatee the way he does, but I’m not sure he understood me. I was finally at the right place at the right time

Oakland A’s at San Francisco Giants
5:30-11 p.m.

Mike Gallego: 2/2 (cards) before the game by the dugout….reminisced about the days the Yankees used to train in Fort Lauderdale. a GREAT dude…didn’t realize how short he is LOL
Travis Buck: 1/1 (Turkey Red) before the game by the dugout…..I don’t even collect Turkey Reds but this card looks great
Kevin Kouzmanoff: 1/1 (Ginter)…..he explained why players aren’t allowed to sign once the National Anthem begins….neat guy
Mark Gardner: 0/1..he would’ve done it but I didn’t recognize him until it was too late
Jonathan Sanchez: 2/2 (8x10s), 1/1 (8×10) with help….refused to inscribe his no-hitter, though he did for someone else…you should’ve seen the woman he was with..WOW
Bruce Bochy: 1/1 (card)…he stopped his car to sign for the dozen or so graphers left
Shawon Dunston: 1/1 (card)…he didn’t want to sign, saying, “It’s no longer my time.”
Mark DeRosa: 1/1 (card)
Roberto Kelly: 1/1 (card)
Bengie Molina: 1/1 (Ginter)…last player to leave the stadium
Buster Posey: 0/1 …didn’t think he was worth a ball so I gave him a whitesheet, which he refused to sign
Pablo Sandoval: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)….asked him for the “Kung Fu Panda” inscription but he refused
Tim Flannery: 0/1 …wouldn’t even stop

and the biggest disappointment of the night ….

Dave Righetti: 0/1 ….last person to leave the stadium and the only reason I even attended the game. Asked him as he exited the clubhouse if he could sign and he said, “No” and then put his head down. Walked over to his car but he just drove past me