While most Dodgers fans are mourning the departure of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers did say farewell to another fan favorite, Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers shipped Matt Kemp to the Reds along with Puig, Wood, and Farmer, but it didn’t come without one last hurrah. Kemp was re-acquired from the Atlanta Braves in a salary dump move last off-season and was supposed to be released before the season began. Kemp ending up sticking around and had an epic final season with the Dodgers.
Kemp got off to a hot start and ended up making another all-star appearance with the Dodgers. For the season he hit .290 with 21 home runs in a surprise that nobody saw coming. Kemp’s career was left for dead in Atlanta but after working his way back into shape, he had a stellar season with the Dodgers in 2018 and put a nice final chapter in his Dodger career with a home run in the World Series.
Looking back to the debut of Matt Kemp, he made Dodger history becoming the first Dodger ever to homer four times in his first ten days of his big league career. Kemp came up at a time when the Dodgers were bad and during the dreaded years of the Frank McCourt era. Kemp was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dark era in LA Dodger history.
Kemp ranks seventh all time in Dodger franchise history with 203 home runs. His .292 average ranks him 31st in Dodger history and his 733 RBI’s give him the twelfth spot in Dodger franchise history. Matt takes the 18th spot when it comes to hits and is the only Dodger ever to hit 30+ home runs and steal 40 bases which he accomplished in 2011 when Ryan Braun robbed him of the NL MVP award.
During that 2011 season when Kemp was absolutely robbed of an MVP award, he became just the second Dodger ever to have a 30-30 season along with Raul Mondesi who accomplished that feat twice. During his epic season in 2011, Kemp just missed out on being the first Dodger ever to put up a 40-40 season and will forever be the 2011 National League MVP in the eyes of many since Ryan Braun later tested positive for PED’s.
The Bison will always be remembered as a Dodger despite his seasons with the Padres, Braves, and now the Reds. Kemp was a part of the beloved core of Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Russell Martin, and Chad Billingsley. Surprisingly enough, Kemp and Martin are the only two from that core that are still playing in the big leagues. Matt Kemp’s time as a Dodger may be over for good, but he will still be remembered as one of the greatest Dodgers of the new millennium.