Still dominant on the mound, Clayton Kershaw has nothing left to prove

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Stories about all-time greats pile up over the years and there are plenty about Clayton Kershaw, about his work ethic, his personal ethics. My favorite is from our colleague Jessica Mendoza, who made an offseason trip in 2019 to the Dominican Republic with Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, as part of a group combating sex trafficking.

Mendoza, the producer she worked with on the story and cameramen boarded first class -- coincidentally, along with (now former) Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow -- and as the groups of fliers were called, Clayton walked past first class, almost all the way to the back of the plane. "Almost all the way to the back of the plane, two or three rows from the bathroom, there was Clayton in a middle seat, with Ellen in the aisle," she recalled. "Like, 36E." At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds and squeezed upright, he loomed over those around him.

Mendoza asked the Kershaws about sitting in the back, when of course first class was accessible to them, and the question seemed to take Clayton aback. When all money saved on the trip could make such a difference, the Kershaws thought, of course you sit in the back.