November 17, 2011

We take it back two years to the date for the announcement of Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s first career Cy Young award. Kershaw received 27 of 32 first-place votes to take the award in his fourth season.

Kershaw finished the season at 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 33 starts for the Dodgers. He won the National League Triple Crown for pitching, leading the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA. The left-hander had a WHIP of 0.98 in 233.1 innings and had five complete games, two that ended in shutout. He also was named an All-Star that season and won the NL Gold Glove for pitchers.

The then 23-year-old transitioned from starter to the Dodgers’ ace and hasn’t looked back since. In 2012, Kershaw once again led the league in ERA and was the runner-up in the Cy Young vote, but came back in 2013 to take home his second Cy Young award, once again leading the league in ERA and strikeouts. Kershaw is now a three-time All-Star and has compiled a 77-46 record in six seasons in Los Angeles. In 184 games, 182 starts, Kershaw has a career 2.60 ERA with 1,206 strikeouts in 1,180 innings. He has 11 career complete games, eight via shutout.

Kershaw was also the recipient of the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player that “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community¬†involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” The 25-year-old is very involved with his charity, “Kershaw’s Challenge” and has even travelled to Africa for his philanthropy.¬†

The left-hander has become the unofficial representative for best pitcher in the major leagues by most experts and has drawn comparisons to another left-handed Dodger pitcher by the name of Sandy Koufax. The Dodger legend was the most dominant pitcher during his career and Kershaw has been just that since his 2011 breakout season.

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ICYMI: Did You See What Happened When Clayton Kershaw Was Asked About A $300 Million Dollar Extension Right After Winning Cy Young?