Big Surprise For Jon Kemmer In Oklahoma City On Fourth (07/09/19)

(Photos submitted by Lauren Kemmer and Lacey Williams) Above: Lauren Kemmer and Jon with host families: Paul and Susan Willis and Bryan and Lacey Williams and son Connor.

Jon Kemmer had quite a contingent out to support him, during the Oklahoma City Dodgers’ game with the Round Rock Express on the Fourth of July.

Jon’s wife Lauren who attended the game, made the trip to OKC surprising him earlier in the day. Also at the game were his host families from his days with the Corpus Christi Hooks, Bryan and Lacey Williams and their son Conner and Fresno Grizzlies, Paul and Susan Willis.

Lauren with Durango City Generales (and Jon Kemmer) fans.

But there were some others there for Jon also. While Lauren was sitting behind home plate, family section… Well, let’s let Lauren explain. “…I happened to look around and I said ‘Oh my gosh, they are wearing Generales jerseys’ (the team from Durango City, Mexico Jon was with prior to signing with the Dodgers) and I wanted to go say ‘Hi’, but I don’t speak Spanish. Luckily, Jon’s host mom, Lacey Williams from Corpus Christi can speak Spanish so she walked up with me and translated.”

“They had a Facebook Live video up and I was waving at people in the video and they discussed how much they loved Jon and we got a picture together.”

Lauren learned that they are from Durango City but that they currently live in Oklahoma.

“It was super cool to experience that! We also got lucky that Jon’s host family drove up from San Antonio (they moved from Corpus Christi) and we found out on Thursday that they were coming,” Lauren said.

Lauren mentioned that Jon’s host family from the Fresno Grizzlies, “…is also from Oklahoma and they were here for the weekend as well.”

The time with the host families is something she and Jon will cherish. Lauren said, “It was awesome to get both host families together on the same weekend for a chance meeting that we didn’t think would ever happen. We had the best experiences with both families and wish we could bring them everywhere with us.”

Jon and Lauren

Lacey Williams shared some of her memories when the Williams’ were Jon’s host family. “Jon was our very first host player, when we started as a host family in Corpus Christi, Texas and from the first phone call, we knew it was going to be an amazing experience.

“As an only child, our son Connor was so excited to have a ‘baseball brother’. Jon instantly became family and I think we went to every home game and  some away games.”

Lacey mentioned a ‘little ritual’ that Connor and Jon had before games, “During warmups, Jon and Connor had their thing where Connor would tell Jon how many hits he had to get that game.”

Connor in Corpus Christi Hooks shirt with Jon when he played for the Fresno Grizzlies in 2017

Some memories for a lifetime… Lacey said, “That was our favorite season as a host family: the family dinners, the few days off from baseball where we would hang out as a family will forever be cherished memories! Not only did we consider Jon family but Lauren as well. We would look forward to her visits to Corpus as well.”

She said, “Since that season we have kept in contact with both and while we don’t get to see them as often as we would like, we do try to go to at least one series a year.”

Hence, the reunion on the Fourth. “This year we were thrilled, when planning our trip to Wisconsin, that we learned that Jon was traded to OKC and that we would be able to stop in and see  him. I texted Lauren the day before we left and she let me know that she was flying out to surprise Jon, so we were even more excited that we would get to see both of them!”

“It was great that we got to meet Jon’s host family from California, as well, when we were out there, as we had heard from Jon and Lauren how amazing they were.”

Jon and Connor in the Dodgers’ dugout in 2019

Lacey spoke of the encounter with the Generales fans at the game and the loving following Jon has from Durango City. “It was purely coincidental that we all converged in OKC to support Jon, but I think it is a testament to how amazing of a person that John is. I think it speaks volumes about him as a player and a person as well, considering that there were Generales fans there supporting him too.

“I know when Lauren and I spotted them and their jerseys, we are wondering if they were there for Jon, she was a bit hesitant to go talk to them since she doesn’t speak Spanish but I promised her I would translate for her. And so we went and were able to meet them. It was so cool that they were Facebook Live-ing  their experience there and they were just as thrilled to be there for Jon as they were to meet Lauren, ‘the wife of Jon Kemmer’. 

“I know that in Mexico his fan base was huge and that they loved him and I think it’s wonderful that they continue to support him and his journey.” 

Proud Mom (well host mom) had some kind words about her baseball son. “Jon is one of  the hardest working, kind hearted people that we know and it is truly obvious when you meet him and see how his friends, family, and fans support and love him.

“I know we are looking forward to seeing again when he come through Texas again in August and we can’t wait to be there when he makes it to the Big League!”

But as much as Lacey and her family love Jon and Lauren, their loyalties were divided on the Fourth. You see, they had two other host players in the game. Only problem was, they were in Round Rock uniforms. Alex de Goti played third base and Drew Ferguson was the designated hitter for the Express.

But not to worry. All three did well in the game which was won by the Dodgers, 13-7.

Jon, the Dodgers’ designated hitter had a single, drove in a run and scored once. Alex had a single and Drew had a pair of hits, drew a walk and scored once.

All three played for the Hooks and Grizzlies. Can you imagine that.

I’d say the Fourth worked out just right!!!!