OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland A's utilityman Tony Kemp can do it all on the baseball field, turns out he's just as versatile off the field. Earlier this month, Kemp was among 30 players in Major League Baseball (one per team) nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award.
The award named after Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente honor's his legacy of humanitarian work and recognizes a player who represents the game through their extraordinary character, community work and positive impact on and off the field.
"I still tell my wife to this day it's the best award I've ever been given in my life," said Kemp. "It's very humbling especially doing things for the community. It feels natural, honestly."
In 2020, Kemp established the +1 Effect campaign which encouraged constructive conversations around race, systemic racism and his own personal life experiences.
"I always say the +1 has exceeded my expectations. It's one of those things you can't put into words how much it means to me, my family and I think people jumped on and they love talking about it," said Kemp.
"It's been great. Especially last year with all that was going on too he was a great resources in our clubhouse," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He won it (Roberto Clemente Award nominee) he's extremely proud of what he does off the field. I've said often to that it's not easy for a guy who's not an everyday player to be that impactful off the field and in the clubhouse but he is. He should be proud of accomplishments."
Kemp is also a member of the Players Alliance, which works on creating an inclusive culture within baseball and communities to promote and elevate racial equality, providing greater opportunities for the Black Community.
"The Players Alliance you saw what Major League Baseball, how much they will be donating over the next ten years, that's a lot of money," said Kemp. "We are actually going to be getting donation boxes at the end of the year, extra gear towards people that need it," said Kemp.
This season, Kemp partnered with Players for the Planet and One Tree Planted to help plant trees in urban communities and the program has been a huge success. Kemp pledged to donate 100 trees for every stolen base and extra base hit he tallies this season. A's corporate partner PG&E also joined in to match Kemp's tree donations, furthering the impact. The impact has also made it's way to social media.
"These people on Twitter, The Last Dive Bar, he went on Twitter and decided to donate money and 1,000 trees are going to be planted. We've got something cooking for that, so you have to stay tuned," said Kemp.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be honored later in October. Fans can vote for their favorite nominee on the MLB website. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by a panel through Major League Baseball.