Joshua Jones never had a chance to realize greatness in his own life in the same sense that many of us will. He had no children. He left behind no wife. He didn’t cure cancer or bring world peace or make some startling discovery. He never had a chance to have a long career, to experience the follies and achievements of adulthood.
Yet Dodger fans will never forget Joshua Jones because Joshua Jones reminds us all of what we are capable of as a race and of a species. Joshua Jones reminds us of the capacity of people to care for one another. That acts of kindness, no matter how small, can mean everything to a person. That caring for our friends and family has a startling impact on each and every one of our lives. And just how important it is for the rest of us to work on those startling scientific discoveries, to find that cure for cancer, and most importantly, to try to work toward world peace, because the impact of compassion and sympathy toward our fellow man (and woman) is ultimately that which makes us all human.
Joshua Jones passed away from a terminal brain tumor on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013. He was only 19 years old. But the moments he had this season with Matt Kemp and other Dodgers showed us not only that ballplayers can be good guys, but gave us a look at the importance of hope in the lives of people who are fighting battles within themselves.
Kemp remembered Jones after learning of his death. His interview in regards to learning of Jones’ passing is summarized in this ESPN article written by Arash Markazi. Among other things, Kemp was quoted as saying “He did have an impact on my life, and I’m sure on a lot of other people’s lives, especially when the story went around YouTube. I’m just glad I got to meet him and do what I did for him. I’m glad he got to come on the field and meet all the players and see a Dodger game. It was very exciting for me to do that for him, and I’m glad I could before he passed.”
Take a moment to watch these videos of Josh interacting with Matt Kemp and several other Dodgers and even young Angels star Mike Trout and remember that regardless of color, gender, or what uniform we may put on in our daily lives, at our core we are all human. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us Joshua. Though you may be gone, may your candle burn on and may we all be inspired by your fight and by the compassion and good deeds done by these ballplayers in your honor. And though this is a sad time, may your family find comfort and joy as they come together to remember and celebrate your life.
- Joshua Jones, ailing fan who Matt Kemp befriended, has died (cbssports.com)
- Teen befriended by Kemp loses battle with brain cancer (mlb.mlb.com)