Matt Kemp & Andre Either
Kemp, 27, and Ethier, 30, recently have been rewarded with massive contract extensions, cementing their roles as the young faces of the franchise. Kemp signed an eight-year, $160 million contract in November -- one of the bright spots during the rough end of Frank McCourt's ownership tenure. Then, in June, the new owners inked Ethier to a five-year, $85 million extension. "It's a big privilege," says Ethier of the new group making his contract extension its first large deal. "I trust them -- this is the only place I wanted to be. I've grown up here. This is definitely my home." Ethier, the Phoenix-born right fielder and married father of two who also is a foodie -- his current favorite L.A. dining spots include Son of a Gun, Cooks County and Ink -- made the All-Star team in 2010 and 2011. But Kemp is the team's biggest star; last year, the silky center fielder batted .324 with 39 home runs, 40 steals and 126 RBI (he has battled a hamstring injury this season). Kemp dated pop star Rihanna and recently appeared on the covers of Forbes, ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated, the latter with Magic Johnson. A high school basketball star in Oklahoma, Kemp has been vocal about his willingness to take on Johnson on the court, perhaps in an event for charity. "I think Magic believes that he can beat me," he says, "and I believe that I can beat Magic." Johnson is ready for the challenge, provided the Dodgers perform. "We gotta win first," he says. "All that will happen after we have a long run in the playoffs, hopefully."
Photographed June 16 near home plate