In Appreciation Of… Clayton Kershaw

Back in October last year I started writing a series of regular posts that were designed to take a look at some of those undervalued or under-appreciated players that I felt didn’t get the Hobby love they deserved.

It’s been a little too long since my last foray into this area so I decided to pick it up again, starting with one of the most exciting pitchers in the Hobby today – Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw!

I imagine that Kershaw has a pretty huge following in LA, but I don’t get the impression this stretches to the rest of the Hobby. That said, you often see his cards fetching some tidy sums over on eBay so who knows? I could well be making the wrong call on this one!

Clayton Kershaw was drafted 7th overall in the 1st round of the 2006 draft! A Dodger throughout his career so far he worked his way up through the LA farm system, making his MLB debut in 2008, when he spent a whole year as the youngest player in the majors!

Despite putting up incredible numbers in High School and in the Minor Leagues, Kershaw finished his rookie season with a 5-5 record, with a 4.26 ERA in 22 games (21 starts). He continued to work on, and improve, his craft over the next two seasons, something which paid off in 2011 when he won the pitching Triple Crown, compiling a 21-5 record with a 2.28 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and 248 Ks. He won his first Cy Young that season and has already started drawing comparisons to another Dodgers southpaw you might have heard of – Sandy Koufax.

As of this writing Kershaw is 24 years of age! The sky’s the limit and I’m almost tempted to ditch my Cardinals and become a Dodgers fan, just to follow this guy!!

Only almost…

Outside of Baseball, Kershaw, along with his wife and childhood sweetheart Ellen, is actively involved in volunteer work. Together they launched ‘Kershaw’s Challenge’ and wrote the book Arise in order to help raise money to build an orphanage in Zambia. In 2012, he was honoured with the ‘Roberto Clemente Award’, the highest humanitarian honour bestowed by Major League Baseball!

I guess I could always start up a Clayton Kershaw PC. I’ll have to ask the Night Owl his advice as he’s got over 260 different Kershaw cards in his own collection!!

Given all that he’s achieved on and off the field in his short career so far, isn’t it time to start giving this young pitcher some Hobby appreciation?

I think so!

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