On April 9, 2007, the Dodgers played their first home game of the season and debuted the color scoreboard that’s embedded in the right-field wall — the same one that Harper crashed into nearly at full speed Monday.
Kemp, who was playing right field that day, acquainted himself by crashing shoulder-first into the scoreboard in pursuit of a fly ball by the Colorado Rockies’ Jeff Baker in the fourth inning. Kemp missed the ball and Baker, like A.J. Ellis on Monday, wound up on third base with a triple.
The scoreboard wasn’t padded that day, and no padding has been added since.
“It’s tough,” Kemp said. “I separated my shoulder doing that.”
Kemp didn’t return for two months after his injury.
Harper was examined and received 11 stitches in his neck. He did not suffer a concussion, as was originally feared, but was reportedly taken to a hospital.
“It looked bad,” Kemp said of Harper’s crash. “I was just praying that he was OK. Hopefully he doesn’t miss any time.”