McDaniel: The Kershaw experience, live and in person

From Rachael McDaniel at Baseball Prospectus on August 23, 2018:

I didn’t notice when Clayton Kershaw jogged onto the field on Sunday afternoon in Seattle. I knew it was going to be my last MLB game of the season, so I’d spent some extra money on a 100-level seat—out in right-center field, about six rows up from the wall, mostly sheltered from what sun was getting through the layer of red-grey smoke that hung over the ballpark. It was a nice vantage point, with only the right field corner obscured from sight.

I watched the groundskeepers spray water on the infield, and I watched the gatherings of fans beside the dugouts clamor for autographs. Roenis Elias, the Mariners’ unlucky starter for the day, walked in front of us and gave a stern-faced nod of acknowledgement. I had woken up at 4:00 in the morning and taken a bus almost 160 miles for the sole purpose of seeing Clayton Kershaw pitch, and I didn’t notice that he was standing on the grass not far away from me until I heard someone say, “Look, there’s Kershaw!”

And indeed, there he was: his back turned, hands on his hip. Facing him was the crush of Dodgers fans gathered on the left field side, pressed against the barrier in anticipation. The KERSHAW 22 emblazoned on his jersey was at least the 20th I’d seen in the hour I’d been at the ballpark. Kershaw took a few steps forward, then set off running.

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Originally published: August 23, 2018. Last Updated: August 23, 2018.