Clayton Edward Kershaw (born March 19, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). A left-handed starting pitcher, Kershaw has played in the major leagues since 2008 and his career earned run average (ERA) is the lowest among starters in the live-ball era with a minimum of 1,000 innings pitched. He is also a three time Cy Young Award winner and the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player.
Kershaw was drafted seventh overall in the 2006 MLB Draft. He worked his way through the Dodgers' farm system in just one full season and reached the majors at 20 years old. When he debuted in 2008, he was the youngest player in MLB, a title he held for one full year. In 2011, he won the pitching Triple Crown and the National League Cy Young Award, becoming the youngest pitcher to accomplish either of these feats since Dwight Gooden in 1985. Kershaw pitched a no-hitter on June 18, 2014, becoming the 22nd Dodger to do so. Being a left-handed strikeout pitcher and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kershaw has often been compared to Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. He became the first pitcher in history to lead MLB in ERA for four consecutive years when he did so in the 2011 through 2014 seasons.
Off the field, Kershaw is an active participant in volunteer work. He and his wife, Ellen, launched "Kershaw’s Challenge" and wrote the book Arise to raise money to build an orphanage in Zambia. He has been honored with the Roberto Clemente Award and the Branch Rickey Award for his humanitarian work.
- ^ Mark Normandin (May 15, 2013). "Clayton Kershaw, historically relevant ace". SB Nation. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- ^ Dylan Hernandez (September 19, 2011). "Clayton Kershaw makes those Sandy Koufax comparisons plausible". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- ^ Tony Jackson (August 4, 2011). "Clayton Kershaw: The stuff of legend?". ESPN. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- ^ Paul White (April 7, 2010). "Koufax-like Clayton Kershaw growing into ace Dodgers crave". USA Today. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- ^ Ronald Blum, "Kershaw 1st to lead majors in ERA 4 straight years," Yahoo! Sports, September 28, 2014.
By Dean Hanley
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