Kennedy attended J.W. North High School in Riverside, California, playing baseball and basketball. He attended Cal State Northridge, where he played shortstop for the Matador baseball squad. He set school records in career hits, RBIs and batting average and was a three-time All American. He led the nation in hits as a sophomore and junior.
Kennedy was drafted in the first round (twentieth overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997. He made his Major League debut in 1999 for the Cardinals, but was traded the following year to the Anaheim Angels with Kent Bottenfield for Jim Edmonds.
In Game 5 of the 2002 American League Championship Series against the Minnesota Twins, Kennedy hit three home runs, joining only four other players who hit three homers in a post-season game: Babe Ruth, Bob Robertson, Reggie Jackson and George Brett. Kennedy's performance helped the Angels clinch the American League pennant, and Kennedy was named the series' Most Valuable Player. The Angels went on to beat the San Francisco Giants in seven games in the World Series, earning Kennedy a World Series ring.
The 2002 campaign established Kennedy as a fixture in the Angels infield. However, his declining offensive performance put his status with the club in flux. Before the 2006 season trade deadline, it was rumored that Kennedy would be traded, most notably for Shea Hillenbrand. While the rumors never came to fruition, Kennedy was forced to share the starting second base position, playing in a platoon with rookie Howie Kendrick for the remainder of the season.
In an August 16, 2006 game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, pitcher Scott Feldman hit Kennedy with a pitch after the two teams had been trading beanballs over the span of the series. Kennedy charged the mound, starting a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams. Kennedy was suspended for four games for his actions.
On November 28, 2006 he signed a 3-year, $10 million contract with his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|American League Championship Series MVP|
|DATE OF BIRTH||January 10, 1976|
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|DATE OF DEATH|
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