It is easy to get lost or star struck when watching Justin Turner hit a 3-run blast, or Ellis throw out a baserunner with ease, and especially when Kershaw throws a complete game. Our Dodgers are elite athletes in their craft and attain a certain unattainable status to us fans. However, at the end of the day, they are just like us: somebody’s child and/or somebody’s parent.
Earlier this week, Justin Turner sat down and reflected on his childhood growing up and the influence his dad had on his baseball career. He started way back when he was three where he received a plastic tee for Christmas, starting his love for baseball. Thank you, Mr. Turner. He then goes on to talk about how his dad had coached him throughout his childhood and even got to coach his freshmen baseball team! Luckily the family is still local, so every Fathers day at home Justin Turner’s dad always comes out to watch his son play major league ball. He must be such a proud father, especially with the Red Dream’s recent hot streak!
But Turner isn’t the first Dodger on the team to remember where he came from. Four years ago, AJ Ellis spoke about how his father also played a vital role in the development of his baseball skills. He talked about how his father always reminded him that it was just a game and to have fun. His father was with him every step of the way and made it a point to be present, whether he was the coach or just a fan in the stands.
Ken Gurnick: MLB.com
“I remember when I was 9 and my brother was 5, I’d be pitching to my dad and my brother would stand in and try to swing my bat, but he was too little,” A.J. said. “But he kept trying and, sure enough, foul tipped one and it hit my dad in the eye. It swelled so bad. Two days later was Father’s Day, we got him a catcher’s mask. From then on, he caught me with a catcher’s mask.”
Ellis Finishes with talking about his two kids and how he hopes to raise them just like his father raised him, and here at DodgersNation, we know he will!
Last but not least, Andy McCullough of LA Times ran an article that highlighted Clayton Kershaw. Nothing new, except this article spoke about Kershaw’s role as a father to daughter Cali Ann. The article really humanizes Kershaw and is filled with tons of great quotes from him. Here are a few!
Andy McCullough: LATimes.com
“I used to be trying to be in baseball mode from the moment I woke up,” Kershaw said. “And now she doesn’t let that happen. It’s awesome. I get to be a dad until I get to the field.”
“I’ll never forget walking out of a triple-A clubhouse after an 0-for-4 with three punch-outs, maybe two wild pitches, a tough loss,” Ellis said. “Just being pissed off and ready to go home and sulk. But you walk out and you see your little girl in a baby carriage, and all of a sudden she’ll just smile at you. It immediately evaporates.”
“I don’t turn off being a dad,” Kershaw said. “It supersedes being a baseball player.”
Happy Father’s Day Dodgers Nation! We would love to see how all of you are celebrating on Sunday so make sure to Tweet us @DodgersNation or Instagram us @OfficialDodgersNation!