It was the night of all night’s for Los Angeles Dodgers legend Clayton Kershaw. In his ninth All-Star Game appearance, he was bestowed the honor of starting the Midsummer Classic (in front of his home Dodger Stadium crowd) for the first time in his career thanks to Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker.
He received multiple ovations, spoke to the crowd before he trotted out to the mound during an interview with MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal, and then took care of business against Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, Rafael Devers and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
As expected, Kershaw handled it all like a pro despite the heightened tensions and expectations that came with the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in 42 years.
Even before he was on the field for warmups, the three-time Cy Young winner was blindsided by an extremely emotional moment when he was approached by a young fan at the pregame press conference.
Kershaw was about to leave after receiving what he thought was the last question of the afternoon, but then came a 10-year-old fan, who revealed he traveled from Denver to meet Kershaw on behalf of his late grandfather. The young fan’s grandfather passed away from cancer and never got to fulfill all the items on his bucket list, so his grandson checked one off for him (meeting Clayton Kershaw) in one of the most heartwarming clips you’ll ever see.
Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw meets young fan who was honoring his late grandfather
Without hesitation, Kershaw, who was on his way to leave, turned right back around after being notified there was a young boy hoping to meet him, and immediately said, “What’s up dude?!” to make him feel welcomed.
That obviously helped the boy tell his story in front of one of the game’s biggest stars (and a room full of people), and he tugged at everyone’s heartstrings as he fought through tears to make it happen. Kershaw’s response, after listening intently? “Thanks for telling me, that took a lot of courage,” as he embraced him just as the boy began to shed tears, making the heartwarming interaction even more unforgettable.
Oh no … not that angle. That’ll do it. Try to get through the work day now. It’s not possible. Cancel your meetings and find the nearest box of tissues.
There was no better player for this young fan to meet before such a special moment in Kershaw’s storied career. Now can we get Vin Scully to fulfill grandpa’s bucket list wish in spirit?