Tony Kemp Using Fundraising Auctions to Reach Out to His New Home with Athletics

John Hickey

Second baseman Tony Kemp has yet to play his first game in the Coliseum as a member of the Oakland Athletics, but he’s already trying to make a positive impact on the community.

Kemp and his wife, Michelle, this week are using his twitter account and his longstanding connection with Vanderbilt University baseball to raise money for a series of nonprofit organizations.

The Tennessee native, who played at Vanderbilt before being drafted by the Houston Astros in 2013, is signing a series of special bobbleheads from his Vandy time and auctioning them off each day this week through Friday. Tony and Michelle Kemp are matching the winning offer each day.

Tuesday’s highlighted nonprofit was the Alameda County Food Bank. On Monday and Wednesday the selected nonprofits were Nashville based, Luke 14:12, a Nashville soup kitchen offering means to the hungry, homeless and poor on Monday and Book ‘Em, a Nashville nonprofit that distributes books and educational resources to underprivileged youth.

The auctions run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (PT) each day, and the designated nonprofit will be announced each morning.

Kemp, who came to the A’s from the Cubs in a January trade, began on Sunday with the announcement, saying “I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.”

“We wanted to highlight a few nonprofits that are doing some awesome work,” he went on. “Vanderbilt baseball had some cool bobbleheads made that I’ll be signing and auctioning off via Twitter. Michelle and I will also be matching the highest donor.”

In an interview with mlb.com, Kemp expanded on the plan.

“Giving back to the community is something Michelle and I have always been passionate about,” Kemp said. “COVID-19 is a scary reality that we are all going through, and it’s a time that people need to come together and help support each other.

“I am looking forward to playing in Oakland and wanted to help the Alameda County Community Food Bank and their efforts in that community. It just felt like the right time to try and bring attention to some of the amazing work these nonprofits are doing and help support their missions.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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