The day that Clayton Kershaw embarrassed me at the futures game
Doesn’t seem possible that Clayton Kershaw’s futures game was almost ten years ago but father time doesn’t lie. It was the summer of 2007 and I was lucky enough to get invited to San Franciso to watch the Future’s game by a friend of mine who was headed up to see his wife’s father. His father had season tickets and they were giving us their future game tickets because no one else was interested in prospects. Jay knew I was, and when he offered us the tickets and place to stay we jumped at the chance and headed to the city by the bay.
They said we could stay at their family place, but we’d have to stay in the basement. No big deal for us, as we can pretty much hang anywhere. I basically sleep in the attic of my oldest brothers house when I visit them. I remembered the basement because when my friends oldest son had dropped out of college he had told me that Ryan was now living in his grandfather’s basement in San Francisco. I, of course, imagined a small house with a tiny basement, cramped quarters, and felt bad for Ryan. Yeah right
We arrived the night before and when they showed us to our quarters, we couldn’t help but laugh. Unbeknown to us, that side of the family was loaded, and the resident was right smack in the middle of one of San Fran’s best locations, the place had three or maybe even four stories, The “basement” was the final floor and it was “only” about 2,000 square feet and still had a view of San Francisco. It was the best place we ever stayed anywhere in our life.
I was especially excited because Clayton Kershaw and Chin-Lung Hu (future game MVP) were the Dodger future game representatives and even then I knew Kershaw was something special.
First I hit the festivities and highlighted my stay by beating SF fans at SF trivia and won a Dodger bear which I backpacked to AT&T park to meet my wife.
We got to our seats which were right behind home plate. I was a tad obnoxious, being surrounded by SF fans you have to remember the time. The SF Giants had never won a World Championship, and we had five under out belts. So when anyone taunted me they didn’t have much ammunition. My gun was loaded with Kershaw bullets, Best this, best that , blah blah blah. I’m sure they hated me. When Clayton got up to warm up along the left field line, I left my seats to watch and got some nice shots. It was the first time I ever saw Kershaw close up, and man was he young.
When he came in I headed back to our seats to watch the wonder kid. What I got instead was watching Clayton Kershaw give up his first professional home run. The fans around me poured it on, and rightly so. I deserved it. I had to good-naturedly take it, just as they had good-naturedly listened to me brag about the Dodger wonder kid who was going to take the NL by storm. It ended up being a humbling day, and I’ve never quite forgiven Clayton for embarrassing me that day.
Though multiple Cy Youngs, and being the best pitcher of the 21st century has certainly mitigated things.