The suggested topic for this piece read “Who will Kershaw be in 2020?”, which got me thinking: Who will any of us be? While we can never know where time will take us, we can choose our mode of transportation, and control how we get there.
Until recently, I would not have been what friends considered a spiritual person, but in my ongoing quest to process my grief over losing a loved one this past summer, I recently went to a medium to have my tea leaves read.
Among other revelations that fall outside the scope of this piece, I learned that our birthday is the beginning of a new year, and as my year came to an end last week on my 48th birthday, more than ever, I feel uncertain as to what the next one will be. This may just be a result of unsettled feelings over being two years away from 50, or I could just be having a mid-life crisis eight years later than most, but as A. Bartlett Giamatti puts it so eloquently in The Green Fields of The Mind, “There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it”, and the realization of that can turn even the most settled of us into wanderers.
Which leaves me to ponder, as I think about what the next decade may hold for the greatest pitcher of my generation, who we will both be in 2020.
A decade of dominance on the mound. pic.twitter.com/FflgsQCHHj
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) December 12, 2019
Now it goes without saying that I am not Clayton Kershaw, and can only hope to one day be 1/4 of the human being that he is, but I have grown to view his charitable spirit, among many admirable qualities, as a barometer for my own behavior, and he is still who I want to be when I grow up.
So who will Clayton Kershaw be in 2020?
He will become a father for the third time when his wife Ellen gives birth to another boy in January.
He will mentor young players while he adjusts to a new pitching coach, and fights the inevitable effects of Father Time.
And he will continue to work harder than anyone in a Dodgers uniform and leave it all on the field, each and every time.
Don’t look at the numbers. Don’t look at the results. Look at Clayton Kershaw.
Charitable human, great teammate, hard worker.
That’s who Clayton Kershaw will be in 2020… and who I aspire to be every day.
He will continue to give his all to the team that drafted him out of Highland Park high school in 2007. He may not be the guy that will blow an opposing batter with ease anymore, but he will find his way to lead the Dodgers toward greatness in the next decade.