Jon Kemmer Has Great First Half For Generales, Rewarded With MBL All-Star Game Appearance (06/22/19)
(Above photo) Jon letting one fly for the Generales
Taking a job in a new country, with different customs, where a different language is spoken, can present some challenges. But former Clarion Area Bobcat, and professional baseball player Jon Kemmer seems to have adjusted just fine, thank you.
Jon, who is in his seventh year in professional baseball, and fifth year in Triple-A, is a member of the Generales de Durango (English translation: Durango Generals) of the Mexican Baseball League (MBL).
The MBL consists of sixteen teams and is part of Minor League Baseball (MiLB). Unlike the other two MiLB leagues, the International League and the Pacific Coast League, the Mexican Baseball League teams are not affiliated with major league teams. But players may still be signed by a Big League team.
For his great play during the first half of the season, Jon was selected to the MBL All-Star Game, in Mexico City.
Heading into the All-Star break, Jon was hitting .352, with 19 home runs, 48 RBIs and an OPS of 1.154. Jon said, “I’m having one of the best years I could have asked for.”
Jon then went 1-for-3 with an RBI. He said, “Our team the North won the MBL All-Star Game 11-6. It was a great experience playing with some guys I had watched on TV before.
“It was a really great experience, playing in Mexico City, which has one of the prettiest stadiums I have ever played in.”
After Jon found out he’d been selected to the North Division All-Star Team, he went on a major tear. On June 4th, he was 2-for-5, including a home run, and a double, with two RBIs. On June 5th, he went 3-for-4, with two home runs, a double and five runs batted in. On June 6th, he went 1-for-3 and on June 7th, he went 2-for-4, with two home runs and two RBIs.
That’s 8-for-16, 5 home runs, 9RBIs and two doubles, with a .358 average. Not a bad four game stretch! Oh, by the way, one of Jon’s home runs on June 4th, against the Rieleros d Aguascalientes (English translation: Aguascalientes Railroaders) was the 100th of his professional career.
Thanks to Jon’s proud wife, Lauren for those amazing stats.
Jon is enjoying his time south of the boarder. He said, “Mexico has been great, so far. I was really nervous going to another country to play, where I didn’t know any Spanish. I am really glad I came here. All has been great and the people have been so supportive.
Others on the Generales have been a big help. “I’ve got some awesome teammates, that have been great translating for me, so I am not completely lost in what is going on.”
There is one downside. Jon mentioned, “It’s never easy being away from family and friends, for as long as I have. But I have some great ones that stay in contact as much as possible. And that helps a lot.
“My wife and father-in-law, will actually be here next week (this week as of this article) and I’m very excited about that. I haven’t seen my wife Lauren since I left, which was early April. So its been long overdue!”
Contact with friends through social media has been a huge help.
The people in Clarion are just fantastic. I still here from a bunch of people in Clarion, thanks to Facebook. All the people that have reached out and wished their best is great. I am still very connected with the people of Clarion and love every second of it.”
As for his longtime goal of playing in the Big Leagues, Jon said, “Right now my MLB status is still uncertain. I have been in touch with a few teams, through my agent. But nothing has panned out yet. With that being said, it is still my dream to play in the big leagues. And hopefully this year will help that process.”
And Jon, we hope so too. Enjoy this wonderful ride! As always, you make us Clarion Proud!!!!