TAMPA -- A couple of leftovers from my Clayton Kershaw feature that comes out in ESPN The Magazine this week:
1. The first time I met Kershaw, a few winters ago, he had agreed to take us through his offseason workout regimen, which started early in the day at his old high school in Highland Park, Texas. He pulled up in his '07 Tahoe -- the car he still has -- and I half-expected to see some others, too. Personal trainers, perhaps, or handlers, or a fitness guru or two.
But Kershaw was alone. He didn't require aid, coaching or cajoling. He was self-reliant, and after talking with him that day, I walked away thinking that Kershaw might care less about money -- the material goods it will provide him, in other words -- than any high-end player I've been around.
In reporting the cover piece, I heard this story from Josh Meredith, who was the best man at the wedding of Clayton and Ellen Kershaw, and who is part of a core group of friends the pitcher has had since childhood:
On the day that Kershaw's $215 million deal became official, he had vetoed the idea of a celebration, and it just so happened that on the same day, the boyhood friends already had their weekly get-together planned -- at the Kershaw's, as usual.