Kevin Kline, not the actor Kevin Kline, but the actor's nephew, has something amazing to brag about now. Or rather, something else to brag about.
The 1988 Oakville High School graduate was inducted into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
Kline was recognized at a ceremony Tuesday at Energizer's Town and Country offices where Ripken acted as the master of ceremonies. Kline was selected out of more than 1,000 nominees. He was inducted into the hall of fame by the first inductee, Cal Ripken, Jr. Ripken retired from professional baseball after playing 2,632 consecutive games. He has since gone on to work in communities nationwide through his foundation and Cal Ripken Baseball.
Energizer's hall of fame started six years ago to honor people who share the "keep going spirit" of the Energizer Bunny and use their spirit to have a positive impact and make a difference in their community.
Kline met the criteria.
After meeting 15-year-old cancer patient Chelsea Campbell at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston, his hometown, Kline started the Snowdrop Foundation. The foundation funds research on pediatric cancer and scholarships for cancer patients and survivors. Kline is a morning disc jockey at a Houston station and was broadcasting from the Texas Children’s Cancer Center in December 2005 when he met Campbell. Although she was a patient, Kline said he thought she was a volunteer because of her selfless behavior.
Campbell lost her fight with cancer, and Kline has since dedicated his life to helping others like her through his foundation.
She was “a complete stranger to me six years ago, but whose short life continues to define mine,” Kline said. “Through Chelsea I’ve learned how faith comforts the most dire situations and how belief is the strongest attribute to success.”
Kline now runs to raise money for his foundation. To date he’s run 31 marathons on three continents and in 19 states. He also ran across Texas--500 miles--in 13 days. He’s planning a run of 62 miles a day for a straight week to recognize the 62 patients in the cancer care center at any given time.
Kline was a four-year varsity letterman in baseball at Oakville High School. He went to Oklahoma State University, came back to St. Louis and attended St. Louis Community College and ended his college and baseball career at Southwest Texas State University.
“Growing up in Oakville, we went to school, we played a lot of baseball, went to a lot of concerts downtown on the landing when we were of age,” Kline said. “There was a mass media teacher in my sophomore year at Oakville who made learning about media very fun, and I gravitated toward that.
“I listened to JC Corcoran on KSHE 95, and I said if baseball doesn’t work out, that’s what I want to do. JC is not only a mentor but a friend, now," Kline said.
He started at KMOX, then moved to The Point. He took his first full-time radio job in Springfield, MO. He’s been in radio for 21 years now.
Kline’s mother Bobbie, brother Kirk, and sister Robyn were at the ceremony. They all still live in the St. Louis area. His father, Nick, died in 2005.
“Both of the boys played baseball,” Bobbie Kline said. “Kevin was the catcher, and Kirk was the pitcher and when they were in high school they both got to be on the same team, and Kevin caught Kirk. That was another thrill in my life.”
Fellow baseball player Cal Ripken Jr. said it was wonderful meeting Kline and inducting him into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame.
“Kevin is a great addition to the group,” Ripken said. “Kevin’s work for the Snowdrop Foundation and the positive impact he makes through his running speaks to the spirit of this award. It just took meeting a few resilient kids who were fighting cancer for him to take action and give back.”
His mother Bobbie said, “When he was involved with baseball, we thought that he was going to make it big, but this has far outdone that,” she said. “He has such a drive, we didn’t even know that he had that in him.”
Kristin Akin of Ballwin was an honorary colleague inductee into the Hall of Fame. She started the Matthew and Andrew Akin Foundation, named after her two sons who died from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis or HLH, a rare disorder of the immune system.
Simone Bernstien, a Clayton High School graduate, was among the final 10 to be considered for the Hall of Fame. She started St. Louis Volunteen.com, a program that informs teens about volunteer opportunities available in the St Louis area.