Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Clayton Kershaw has been a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008 and despite establishing himself as one of the best pitchers of all-time, he didn’t add a World Series ring to his accomplishments until 2020.
The Dodgers had many opportunities to win a championship before that as they won the National League West division title in 2008-09 and then eight straight times from 2013-19. However, the team failed to get the job done in each of those seasons, and sometimes it felt like they would never get it done after each heartbreaking loss.
Kershaw was often pointed to for the Dodgers’ struggles. His career postseason ERA is nearly two runs higher than his regular season mark and he was on the mound multiple times when the Dodgers had some of their most memorable collapses in October.
While that took a toll on him, Kershaw said he rather would have continued to make the postseason and fail than miss it entirely; and the previous failures made finally winning the World Series that much more special for him, via the “Dan Patrick Show”:
“I’ll say this 1,000 times: I would much rather continue to have success and fail over and over again, but continue to get there. Because that’s what you play for. You want to be there, and failure is a part of athletics. It’s a part of sports. I think it’s a great lesson. I learned a lot of things failing as many times as I did.
“Obviously, I don’t recommend it. If you can just win it, you should win it. But when I finally did, it was pretty special. At the end of the day when you’re on the Dodgers and make the playoffs every year, the World Series is your expectation.”
Now, Kershaw has reached free agency for the first time in his career. He has nothing left to prove after finally winning that elusive World Series, so he could choose to retire, but it seems likely he will continue playing.
The teams connected to Kershaw have been the Dodgers and his hometown Texas Rangers. This leaves him to decide if he wants to retire with the Dodgers and compete for a ring every season or play in a stadium close to where he lives and help make the Rangers into real contenders.
Kershaw’s comments make it sound like he will want to re-sign and compete every year with the Dodgers, but the chance to return home can be a strong incentive for anyone.
Kershaw ranked on ESPN’s top-100 MLB players of all-time list
Kershaw was ranked as the 52nd on ESPN’s list of the top-100 MLB players of all-time, following other Dodgers’ legends Sandy Koufax (No. 32) and Jackie Robinson (No. 38) and ahead of Roy Campanella (No. 83) and Duke Snider (No. 95).
The 2020 World Series champion has been named an All-Star eight times and won five ERA titles, three Cy Youngs, the pitching triple crown, a Gold Glove and the 2014 MVP Award.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!