Matt Kemp Retires from Major League Baseball

Exploring Matt Kemp's Journey Through Major League Baseball.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Matt Kemp Retires from Major League Baseball
© Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp has officially hung up his cleats, announcing his retirement from Major League Baseball on Wednesday. Kemp, known for his dynamic play and athleticism, leaves behind a 15-year legacy marked by exceptional highs and storied moments from 2006 to 2020.

Kemp spent the majority of his career with the Dodgers, playing ten seasons with the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2003 from Midwest City High School in Oklahoma. A standout two-sport athlete in high school, Kemp turned down a basketball scholarship from the University of Oklahoma to pursue baseball, making his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2006.

Initially seeing limited play, Kemp's breakthrough came in 2007, where he showcased his potential by batting .342 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs over 98 games. This performance cemented his role as an everyday player for the Dodgers, leading to a career-defining year in 2011.

That season, Kemp nearly achieved the rare 40 home run, 40 stolen base feat, earning his first All-Star selection, the National League Hank Aaron Award, and a close second in the MVP voting.

Kemp's Career Shifts

However, Kemp's career trajectory saw shifts as he moved from the Dodgers to the San Diego Padres in 2015, followed by a stint with the Atlanta Braves, before returning to the Dodgers in 2018.

During his return, Kemp played a pivotal role in leading the Dodgers to their second consecutive World Series appearance, showcasing that he still had the prowess to impact the game significantly. Kemp's tenure in MLB also included brief periods with the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies, with his final appearance coming in 2020.

Over his career, Kemp achieved three All-Star selections, two Gold Gloves, and two Silver Slugger Awards. He retires with a batting average of .284, 287 home runs, and 1,031 RBIs. Beyond his on-field achievements, Kemp's influence continues as he remains involved with the Dodgers' organization.

Hired in February, Kemp has been instrumental during Spring Training, notably aiding in the development of new outfield talents like Miguel Vargas. His ongoing commitment to mentoring and his presence in the dugout highlight his transition from a celebrated player to a guiding force within the club.