The Baseball Assistance Team is very grateful for our supporters and donors who devote their time and dedication to B.A.T. It is those people who help make a difference in helping members of the Baseball Family. We are fortunate and honored to introduce Chris Kaempfer, one of our most generous supporters.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sacramento, California, and grew up listening to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons broadcasting Giants games (although I was a Milwaukee Braves fan) but have now lived in Las Vegas for the past 50 years listening to Vin Scully. So, I consider myself to have been very fortunate on both fronts.
What do you do for a living?
I am a lawyer who practices administrative/government relations law. I am also a part owner of the Las Vegas 51s Baseball Club, the AAA affiliate of the NY Mets.
Who is your favorite baseball team?
First the Milwaukee, and now the Atlanta Braves.
If you could meet one baseball player, past or present, who would it be and why?
Although perhaps not a very creative answer, I would love to meet Babe Ruth. There is no one who could do what he could do. Not only does he have the 3rd most homeruns in history at 714, the 9th highest batting average in history at .342, and the highest slugging, OPS and OPS+ in the history of the game, but he had a .671 winning percentage as a pitcher going 94 - 46 with an ERA of 2.28. He could have made the Hall either as a hitter or a pitcher. Name one other player who could legitimately claim that! And on top of all of that, he had a personality that was bigger than he was. It would have been both informative and fun to spend time with him. That being said, I would also love to be able to go back and warn some of the greatest players of all time (Shoeless Joe Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Mark McGwire and dozens of others) about the decisions they would make that would destroy their reputations and/or in some cases their lives.
How did you hear about the Baseball Assistance Team?
A friend, Larry Davis, mentioned it to me. I studied about it and got hooked.
What makes B.A.T. unique compared to other organizations out there?
While B.A.T. is not the only non-profit organization for which I feel true empathy, it is easier for me to personalize whatever assistance I might be able to provide. In other words, I can help those in need who, through their participation and involvement in the game I love, however substantial or limited that participation might have been, have given me such joy, whether it was listening to, watching, reading about or studying the game of baseball and its uniquely talented and oftentimes colorful players.
Why do you support B.A.T. and their mission?
I was never quite good enough to play, manage or umpire at even a minor league level; but by being part of B.A.T., I can still be part of a baseball team-essentially the biggest baseball team of all. I may not have ever been able to make a difference on the field or in a clubhouse, but I can make a difference now by helping those "teammates" who need me.
What motivates you to stay involved?
Knowing that what I do, as little as it might be, directly helps someone who is part of the baseball family. Whether it is in baseball or in all aspects of life, those who have gone before should never be forgotten by those who are there now.
How do you suggest B.A.T. increases awareness about what it does within the baseball community?
While I know from personal experience that many fans who watch games at the A, AA or AAA level have some limited knowledge of B.A.T., more can and should be done at these minor league stadiums to increase awareness of what B.A.T. does and who it helps. We need to do as good a job as we can in assuring people that they are truly helping those with financial and medical needs and not those who the fan may view as rich, spoiled players who had large salaries and now have elaborate health benefits and incredible pensions. While anonymity is imperative, personal stories of the help that was given and how graciously it was received will help bring the picture more into focus. People participate more when they feel they are helping a particular person with a particular need. Make a Wish, one of my favorite organizations, puts that principle to practice.
Any additional thoughts?
Just please keep up the good work doing what you do; and know that if you need anything from me, I am here for you; no matter what, no matter when.