Reporting Steve Large
TRACY (CBS13/CBS2) — An uncommon act of kindness on the baseball field is on display on a video that’s going viral.
Los Angeles Dodgers all-star Matt Kemp surprised a fan from Tracy and with more than just a signed ball.
The act of compassionate generosity was videotaped and has now gone viral, getting thousands of hits.
The video shows a touching encounter between Kemp and one of his biggest fans, Josh Jones, who’s battling terminal cancer.
The 19-year-old went to the game and got up close to the field as the Dodgers took on the San Francisco Giants Sunday.
Following the 4-3 loss to the Giants, Kemp was told about Jones and his family in the stands hoping to meet the teen’s idol.
This is how Kemp described the meeting.
“(Third base coach Tim Wallach) told me that there was a big Dodger fan at the game and that he didn’t have a long time to live – not longer than a month and a half,” Kemp said during a press conference Tuesday in the Dodgers’ dugout.
“So after the game, I just decided to go meet him. He couldn’t talk because I guess his speech was gone. When I said ‘Hi’ to him, he just looked at me in shock. It almost got me,” he said.
The athlete started shedding gear, giving everything he took off to Jones. That included Kemp’s cleats, his baseball cap, and his numbered jersey.
Wednesday, Jones was proudly wearing the No. 27 jersey as he told his story at the family home.
The cancer makes it hard for Jones to speak, but he was clear about the motivation he received from that moment with his sports idol.
“Made me want to keep fighting cancer, made me really happy when he did this,” Jones said.
Jones’ father, Steve Jones, said, “I had no idea it was going to get this huge. I just wanted my son to be able to meet Matt Kemp, and that was it, you know. But it sounds like a lot of people are interested in our story, so that’s the good thing.”