Religion ghost haunts Dodgers’ $215 million ace

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In an Associated Press story about his new, $215 million contract, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw certainly comes across as a good guy:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even Clayton Kershaw has trouble contemplating the enormity of a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that makes him baseball’s richest pitcher.

The team finalized the deal Friday, when Kershaw stayed home in Dallas. The 25-year-old ace said by phone that talking money is “a little bit uncomfortable for me.”

Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, have been discussing how to spend the money, and most of their ideas revolve around charitable interests. The couple supports an orphanage in Africa and two groups that fund afterschool programs for children in Los Angeles and Dallas. They have no children of their own.

Charitable interests, huh?

My GetReligion meter spiked, and I wondered: Any chance those interests might revolve around the couple’s faith? I kept reading, hoping to find out.

The very next paragraph:

“Ellen and I understand the effects we can have on a lot of people with this money,” he said. “We realize to whom much is given much is expected and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

Hmmmm, that last part sounds strikingly (pardon the pun) like a familiar Bible verse (Luke 12:48).

Later in the story:

Kershaw said the money is both “a tremendous blessing and a tremendous responsibility.”

Blessing? I don’t know. I still think there’s a chance — possibly, just maybe — that there’s a religion ghost here.

Alas, the piece ends with no reference to the role — or not — that God plays in Kershaw’s life.

However, a quick bit of Googling makes clear that Kershaw has not been shy about sharing his faith. In fact, this is how he signs off on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes video embedded with this post:

I’m Clayton Kershaw, pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a follower of Jesus Christ.

There you go. Mystery solved.

About Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning reporter and editor with a quarter-century of professional experience. A former religion editor for The Oklahoman and religion writer for The Associated Press, Ross serves as chief correspondent for the The Christian Chronicle. He has reported from 47 states and 11 countries and was honored as the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 Magazine Reporter of the Year.


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