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Clayton Kershaw is no doubt one of Major League Baseball’s greatest players. The pitcher, who was the youngest player in the league when he made his debut in 2008, has broken records and won numerous awards that have earned him the description of the best pitcher in baseball throughout a huge chunk of his career. Among his numerous achievements include eight All-Star appearances, the 2014 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player award, and three NL Cy Young Awards.
Kershaw’s stellar performances have equally earned him a lot of fans and praise. It also prompted his team to break the bank in 2013 as the Los Angeles Dodgers handed him a franchise-record seven-year contract extension worth $215 million.
Everything We Know About Clayton Kershaw’s Career
Early Life and High School Career
Named Clayton Edward Kershaw by his parents when he was born on March 19, 1988, the baseball star was raised in Dallas, Texas. From around the age of 10, the young boy was catered for by just his mother after his parents got a divorce.
Kershaw took solace in his love for sports as he was very much involved in youth leagues. While attending Highland Park High School, he played for both his school’s baseball and football teams. With his pitches getting better, he opted to concentrate on baseball and developed into an elite high school prospect in 2006. That same year, his various outstanding performances earned him the USA Today High School Baseball Player of the Year award and the Gatorade National Player of the Year for baseball.
Draft and Professional Career
With so much hype surrounding him, Clayton Kershaw was selected seventh overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers right out of high school in the 2006 MLB Draft. The young athlete had originally received a sports scholarship to study at Texas A&M University but then rejected it after getting drafted. He went on to sign with the Dodgers, receiving a then-record draft pick signing bonus sources estimate at $2.3 million.
As expected, Kershaw had to first earn his stripes in the minor leagues before making his major league debut. He first played for the Arizona League Dodgers where he maintained his rating as one of the top prospects in baseball. In 2007, he was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons where his performances earned him a selection to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game for the East Team. He was also selected to play on the USA team in the All-Star Futures Game.
Following a subsequent stint with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League where he continued to shine, the Dodgers opted to buy-out the remainder of his minor-league contract to bring him back to the team. Clayton Kershaw was then added to the main roster of his team, allowing him to make his major league debut on May 25, 2008, against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was the youngest player in the MLB at the time, a position he held for a whole year.
As time went by, Clayton Kershaw proved to be a sensational find by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, he became one of the top pitchers in the National League, leading in wins (21), earned run average (2.28), and strikeouts (248) to earn the pitching Triple Crown. He also won his first Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the same year. All these ensured that he was picked for his first out of four straight MLB All-Star Games that year.
Kershaw got his second and third Cy Young Awards in 2013 and 2014. This placed him alongside other pitchers like Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez who are the only pitchers to win a Cy Young Award three times in four years.
Who is Clayton Kershaw’s Wife?
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Clayton Kershaw has known his wife Ellen (neé Melson) since they were freshmen in high school. The two Dallas, Texas natives started dating when Ellen was 15 and he was 14. After graduation, the pair had to go their separate ways as Kershaw had accepted to join the Dodgers while Ellen began attending classes at Texas A&M University.
As things would pan out, Kershaw and his girlfriend managed to keep in touch and after dating for seven years, the athlete popped the question. He asked for her hand in marriage after taking her on a long date that started with a trip to a Six Flags amusement park and ended at Clayton’s holiday townhouse.
On December 4, 2010, the couple exchanged vows in a Dodgers-themed wedding. The ceremony was held at Highland Park Presbyterian Church after which guests were entertained at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston. Together, the couple have two children; daughter Cali Ann (born in January 2015) and son Charley Clayton (born in November 2016).
Along with her husband, Ellen Kershaw is the co-founder of the Kershaw’s Challenge, a charity organization that gives assistance to at-risk children in Africa. The couple have also co-authored a book titled Arise: Live Out Your Faith and Dreams on Whatever Field You Find Yourself where they talk about their humanitarian efforts and Christian faith.