back on my first blog, one of the themes that i wrote about often was evolution. after collecting baseball cards for even just a couple of years, i recognized that they were a way to track my fandom of the sport. then, as i learned more about the history of the game, they became a way to connect me to great players and moments from seasons past. one of the evolutions that i touched on was that of my favorite non-dodger.
it began with don baylor, switched to pete rose and then steve garvey, followed by paul molitor, shawn green, nomar garciaparra, vladimir guerrero, and at the time of that post, ended with joe mauer. when mauer retired following the 2018 season, i needed someone to take his place. there were a few players that i already followed, but there was one that stood out. matt kemp.
kemp had been traded to the reds in the yasiel puig deal in december of 2018. he had been my favorite dodger during his first run in los angeles (more on that in a different post), and i was really happy when he returned (and excelled!) to the team in 2018. so, i chose kemp as my newest favorite non-dodger, and he is represented in this mini collection by his 2019 topps big league gold parallel card.
i even got to see kemp play as a red in person last season. i attended a game in cincinnati on april 9, 2019 wherein he went 2 for 5 with a home run (and another long fly) and 3 rbi. i was sitting in the front row down the line near first base, and had a great view to the action - it was a great night for baseball and for kemp. unfortunately, that night was the highlight of kemp's 2019 season. he only played in a few more games before he was released by the club. he later signed with the mets and played a few games for their triple-a team before they also released him.
this year, he was in spring training with the marlins, and later caught on with the rockies, and so he remains my favorite non-dodger. i hope he succeeds, and i really hope he hangs on long enough to get a card made of him as a rockie so that i can add it to my favorite non-dodger mini collection.