Matt Kemp’s fairytale of a comeback has surpassed another milestone. Dodger fans have seen to it that the once rejected Kemp will be a starting outfielder on the 2018 National League All-Star team.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 8, 2018
Kemp finished second in voting among N.L. outfielders. His 2.9 million votes saw him finish just behind the Braves’ Nick Markakis but ahead of the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, the other starting outfielders.
The Dodgers have relied on Kemp’s red-hot bat this season as they’ve struggled to emerge from the cellar. As of Sunday night, Kemp is batting .317 with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs. This will be his 3rd All-Star appearance, the last coming in 2012. He was gracious in his response to the news in an Instagram post:
Kemp’s return to elite status as a ballplayer was not predicted by many. Here is a timeline of his unlikely comeback:
From Low Road to Beast Mode
- December 16, 2017: The Atlanta Braves trade Matt Kemp to the Dodgers in exchange for 4 players. It is expected that he will be released by the Dodgers.
- February 23, 2018: Kemp homers in the Dodgers’ spring opener after showing up to camp in excellent shape.
- March 29, 2018: Kemp earns his spot as the starting left fielder on the Dodgers’ opening day roster.
- June 4, 2018: 6 months after being written off, Kemp is named the N.L. Player of the Week.
- July 2, 2018: Matt Kemp records 8 consecutive hits including 2 doubles, 2 HR, and 8 RBI.
- July 8, 2018: Kemp is named as a starting outfielder on the N.L. All-Star team.
Hopefully, this timeline of accomplishments will extend far into the fall. For now, Dodger fans can get excited to see Kemp take the field in DC on July 17th. He will be joined there by teammate Kenley Jansen and Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts.
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