The Dodgers winning the World Series wasn’t just a story 32 years in the making, it was a story of redemption for ace Clayton Kershaw, whose past postseason struggles have gotten as much airtime as “Big Bang Theory” reruns.
As proof that everything is different in 2020: The Dodgers won the World Series. Kershaw got two wins in two starts. He allowed three total runs in those two starts. The whole thing had to be a relief for Kershaw, a sure-thing Hall of Famer and the veteran of this Dodgers team.
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To see just how great it felt, look at his reaction after the final out:
His eyes say it all, don’t they? If they could talk, they’d say “Finally.” The split-second of relief is followed by the sheer joy of winning it all.
MLB wisely had a camera on Kershaw as he ran in from the bullpen to join his teammates celebrating on the field. If you want to feel like you’re standing right behind Kershaw in this long-awaited moment, here’s that angle.
Everybody’s happy for Kershaw, even LeBron
The other L.A. superstar who won a ring this year weighed in on Kershaw and what a World Series means for his legacy. The Lakers’ LeBron James told the world to give Kershaw the respect he deserves now.
Oh and yeah Put some RESPECT ON @ClaytonKersh22 name!! Now and FOREVER!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2020
A couple other rival MLB pitchers gave Kershaw a shoutout for finally getting his ring.
Happy for my old teammate joe Kelly. Also really happy for my friend @ClaytonKersh22 who has worked his tail off for years to help win his team the trophy.
— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) October 28, 2020
Happy for @ClaytonKersh22, an absolute legend. He deserves this.
— dan haren (@ithrow88) October 28, 2020
Kershaw’s long wait for a championship
The Kershaw October struggles are well documented, but here’s another way to view this: He played in 19 playoff series before winning a World Series title, the most of any player in MLB history.
While that’s been fodder for punchlines over years, it’s also quite a story in sports that Kershaw finally won it all in October.
Clayton Kershaw: 19 career PS series played prior to this World Series, the most of anyone before winning his 1st title
Most PS series played *before* winning 1st WS:
Clayton Kershaw: 19
Kenley Jansen: 16
Justin Turner: 14
Carlos Beltran: 14
Manny Ramirez: 14
>>Excludes WS won
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 28, 2020
For the perfect ending of the Kershaw-chokes-in-October narrative, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave his longtime ace the summation he deserved.
"You want to talk about a narrative?” Roberts told reporters. “How about being a champion? He's a champion forever."
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