To the Oakland Athletics organization, Tony Kemp personifies everything the Roberto Clemente Award represents. Tony’s ongoing commitment to making a change in the world through his partnership with Players for the Planet and One Tree Planted, ongoing support for the Boys & Girls Club, leadership of the +1 Effect campaign and dedication to HCP Cure Blindness proves that he is not only a leader in the clubhouse, but also a leader in his communities.
This season, Tony has once again teamed up with Players for the Planet and One Tree Planted to serve as a player ambassador to further the organization’s mission to plant trees in urban communities. Tony has pledged to plant 100 trees in urban communities for every stolen base and extra-base hit which he records throughout the season. To culminate the season-long initiative, Tony will participate in a community tree-planting event this September.
In 2020, Tony established his +1 Effect campaign and continues to dedicate much of his time to this effort. Tony’s goal is simple: Change one perspective, hope they go on to change another and slowly begin to see a change. After a conversation with some family members, Tony coined his cause the “+1 Effect.” After a few weeks, he started a movement. Since the launch of the campaign, Tony and his wife, Michelle, have had hundreds of conversations with teammates, fans and even those outside of the baseball community -- continuing the idea that changing one mind at a time helps to create a +1 Effect.
In addition to the work he does through his own campaign, Tony is an active member of the Players Alliance, which works to create an inclusive culture within baseball and the community in order to elevate racial equality and provide greater opportunities for the Black community in our game and in the places we live, play and care about most. This season, Tony has hosted multiple groups of children and volunteers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland at the Coliseum to watch batting practice on the field and enjoy the A’s game. Tony met with the group, speaking with the children individually and sparking joy in their eyes.
This season, Tony also committed to supporting HCP Cure Blindness, a nonprofit working to eradicate preventable and curable blindness throughout under-resourced communities worldwide. For each walk Tony records this season, he donates $100 to HCP Cure Blindness, helping to empower their work worldwide.
Tony’s steadfast commitment to making a positive impact in the community by driving conversations, creating lasting change around social injustice and making the world around him a better place has not wavered. He truly exemplifies the values and beliefs exemplified by Roberto Clemente and is an inspiration to those all around him and throughout the game of baseball.