Clayton Kershaw was collecting his second Cy Young award of his career for a season in which he went 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts. He led the league in ERA for the third straight year and won for the second time in the last three years.
According to MLB PR Dodgers legend and former three-time award winner Sandy Koufax was on-hand to present Kershaw for his accomplishment:
— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) January 26, 2014
Between the two, the Dodger left-handers now have five Cy Young awards with Kershaw on pace to beat Koufax in that category. Koufax won three in a span of four years from 1963-1966 and also took home an MVP award in 1963. The two could be seen together many times during the season, including an embrace after the Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves to clinch the NLCS last season. That game, the 25-year-old Kershaw threw on three days’ rest and pitched well enough to give the team a chance to win.
Kershaw recently signed a seven-year, $215 million extension that could keep him in Los Angeles until he’s 32 years old. In that time, he may eclipse Koufax’s three Cy Young awards and begin to cement himself into the same category as Koufax. The 78-year-old Koufax is often considered the greatest pitcher in Dodger history, but that hasn’t stopped him from working with Kershaw to help him improve and supporting his success.
One thing that Koufax was able to do that Kershaw hasn’t yet accomplished is lead his team to a World Series championship. The elder pitcher was a four-time champion and was named the World Series MVP in two of the series. Kershaw will be looking to change that in the coming years after a season in which they fell two games short of the Fall Classic.
See the video of Koufax presenting Kershaw with the award below:
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Weekly video update: