Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Tuesday night was very much centered around Clayton Kershaw making his first career All-Star Game start and getting to do so at Dodger Stadium with the support of thousands of Los Angeles Dodgers.
After completing one scoreless inning on 17 pitches, Kershaw addressed the media, with questions ranging from his emotions with the day to a decision to attack Shohei Ohtani with a fastball and then picking him off first base.
After speaking for nearly 10 minutes, Kershaw rose from the podium and began to walk toward the exit so he could continue watching his fellow All-Stars. But it was pointed out that a young fan had patiently been waiting to speak with him.
Kershaw sat back down and was introduced to Blake Grice, a soon-to-be 11-year-old who was fulfilling a dream of his grandfather, Graham, who died from brain cancer in 2014.
“My grandpa loved you,” Rice began. “He watched the 1988 World Series, and he wanted to meet you and Vin Scully one day. So this moment is important to me because I’m meeting you for him.”
Rice’s grandfather made a list of goals and locations to visit after he beat cancer for a fifth time. However, Graham passed away one week after compiling the list, which has left Blake and his family determined to see it through.
Rice teared up as he detailed his grandfather’s wishes and story, which prompted Kershaw to rise up from his seat.
“Sorry about that, Buddy. Come here, dude, great to meet you. Thanks for telling me,” Kershaw said. “That took a lot of courage to tell me that. Great to meet you. Your granddad sounded like an awesome guy.
“Thanks for coming up. That took a lot of courage, man, that was awesome. Thanks, Buddy.”
With a memorable story to share, Blake hopes to one day become a member of the media.
Kershaw allowed for break in focus
Historically not one to entertain matters outside of pitching to win a game, Kershaw allowed himself to take a step back and revel in the atmosphere at Dodger Stadium as he stood at the back of the mound and stared into the stands before warming up for the first inning.
“I tried to take a minute at the beginning to take it all in and look around, which I usually never do,” Kershaw said.
“And I think the moment itself, being here at Dodger Stadium, a place where I’ve been now for 15 years, and to get to do something like this with the best in the world, is really fun, and it was also really personal for me and my family, everybody.”
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