BASEBALL

Former A’s player Tony Kemp wishes ‘the team stays in Oakland’

Feb 28, 2024, 9:27 AM

Tony Kemp #5 of the Oakland A's scores on a single by Seth Brown #15 in the bottom of the eighth in...

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Tony Kemp #5 of the Oakland Athletics scores on a single by Seth Brown #15 in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on October 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Tony Kemp has one wish for his former team, that they stay in Oakland.

After four years with the Athletics, Kemp signed a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds, with an invitation to join its major league roster. The 32-year-old utility man was seen as a veteran leader in the A’s clubhouse.

While he waits to see if he’ll make the Reds opening-day roster, he posted a message to A’s fans on his social media pages, thanking them for embracing him and his family during his stint in Oakland.

“It’s the city where Michelle and I started our family and received open arms from everyone working in the F lot to all the attendees throughout the stadium,” Kemp wrote. “To A’s fans, I can’t help but think about and feel for each and every one of you… My wish is that the team would stay in Oakland and give the fans what they deserve.”

Last November, Major League Baseball unanimously approved the Athletics relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas. The team plans to build a $1.5 billion, nine-acre stadium where the Tropicana Hotel currently stands. The ballpark, which was granted $380 in public funding for construction in the summer of 2023, could open as early as 2028 if everything goes according to plan. But the team is in limbo, as its lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season with no ballpark yet announced for next season.

Tony Kemp had his best year, not just with the A’s but in his career in 2021 when he recorded a .279 batting average, .382 on-base percentage, and 126 OPS+. The following two years, his final in Oakland, he struggled with just a .224 batting average and .306 on-base percentage.

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Former A’s player Tony Kemp wishes ‘the team stays in Oakland’