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Clayton Kershaw wins Roberto Clemente Award

Oct 28, 2012, 7:41 PM EDT

Clayton Kershaw Getty Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw was chosen as the Roberto Clemente Award recipient on Sunday, making him the youngest winner in the award’s 42-year history.

The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. There are also bonus points for being really, really good at baseball. The only non-superstars to win it in the last decade were Jamie Moyer in 2003 and Tim Wakefield in 2010. David Ortiz won it last year.

With less than five years of service time, Kershaw is the least experienced player ever to win the award. The Indians’ Andre Thornton won it in 1979, six years after his debut. Barry Larkin was chosen in 1993, seven years after his debut with the Reds.

Kershaw and his wife run the charity organization “Kershaw’s Challenge,” which has worked to build an orphanage in Zambia. Kershaw travels to Africa each winter, and he and his wife wrote a book about their experiences there.

“I am happy to congratulate Clayton Kershaw on being named the recipient of this year’s Roberto Clemente Award,” said Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow. “The work that this young man has accomplished to help youth around the world is wonderful, and we are proud to welcome him among the many players who have carried on Roberto’s legacy.”

  1. TheBlindUmp - Oct 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    I don’t have anything against Zambia and I’m sure they need an orphanage but, how about doing charity right here in the US of A? We have a lot of needs here and it sure would be nice to see some of the riches we bestow on athletes stay right here at home. Louisiana still could use some help! Detroit is going through a tough time. I’m not an isolationist but dang…east LA could use some help too!

    • kingscourt25 - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      he does charity in Los Angeles and Texas too

    • Reflex - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      Because a given amount of money does far more good across far more people in a nation like Zambia than in the USA or EU. If your view is to use what are limited resources to do the maximum amount of good, targeting charities in the US is among the least efficient way to spend a given charity dollar.

      This is not to say that supporting causes in the USA is a bad thing. As I understand Kershaw supports several. But from a point of view of doing the most good with a given amount of money, a lot more can be accomplished in the third world than the first.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 28, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Certainly there are people in our nation who need help. I hope you give generously, whether time or money, rather than simply question others’ generosity–especially someone who gives both his time and money trying to help others. I recommend the American Red Cross and Running Strong for American Indian Youth. There are many others.

      As for Zambia, their life expectancy is 49 years, average per capita GDP is less than $1500 per year, and over 13% of young adults there are HIV positive.

  2. mazblast - Oct 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    He’s a great player, a generous man, and a worthy choice. He’s one LA celebrity who has his head on straight.

  3. btwicey - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Brilliant guy

  4. crankyfrankie - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Having run united way drives at work for a number of years it is more important to give something than to worry about what others are giving.

  5. nogoodtomedead - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Awesome. Good to see such a young star already making that kind of impact. Class- and crazy good. Wish he could go easier on my Giants though!

  6. yahmule - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Kershaw is a great pitcher and an even better human being.

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