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Kemp wins Dodgers' Campanella Award

Kemp wins Dodgers' Campanella Award

Kemp wins Dodgers' Campanella Award
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers announced their sixth annual Roy Campanella Award winner, and it's center fielder Matt Kemp.

The award, which goes to the Dodgers player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of Campanella, the late Hall of Fame catcher, was voted on by both the players and the coaches. It will be presented to Kemp before Wednesday's game.

Manager Don Mattingly said the award was well-deserved, noting that there's "no doubt he's the team's leader." He also added the fact that the award was voted on by Kemp's peers makes it more important because his teammates and coaches best understand the effort he's put into his MVP-caliber year.

"Matt did everything that you could ask," Mattingly said. "He's been good on defense, he's stolen bases, he's hitting for average, hitting for power, and he's been a leader all over the club -- around the clubhouse, in the dugout. Anything that comes his way this year, he deserves."

All season, Mattingly has talked about how much Kemp has matured as both a player and a clubhouse guy, and he noted the award only reinforces that point.

Recently, each time Kemp has stepped to the plate, he has been met with a chorus of "M-V-P." The numbers justify it, too. Heading into Tuesday's game, the righty slugger was among the top three in all three triple-crown categories. With his 34 homers and 40 stolen bases he joined Raul Mondesi as the only Dodgers to reach the 30-30 club.

When first asked about Kemp winning the Campanella award, Mattingly's first response was that it's likely to be the first of many. He's probably right.

"Well, Matt's probably going to get a lot of awards over the course of this year," Mattingly said. Rafael Furcal won the inaugural award in 2006, and other past winners include James Loney (2008) and Jamey Carroll (2010).

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