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Clayton Kershaw makes donation to help fund MLB urban youth academy

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw takes part in batting practice before a game against the New York Mets on Oct. 15.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw takes part in batting practice before a game against the New York Mets on Oct. 15.

(Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

He is the best pitcher in baseball, though maybe sometimes you’re uncertain what to make of Clayton Kershaw the person. In interviews he can be curt and impatient, and does not suffer fools gladly.

He can also be a terrific interview when the mood and questions strike him, and no one has ever questioned at his core he is nothing but an honorable, stand-up guy. His charitable work is well known, not that he’s resting on past accomplishments there, either.

On Tuesday Major League Baseball announced in Texas it would build its ninth urban youth academy in West Dallas.

And there on the stage in Dallas to announce the new facility with the Texas Rangers, Commissioner Rob Manfred and others, was none other than Kershaw.

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Kershaw, a Dallas native, made a personal donation to the project and will have one of the four new fields on the 17-acre site named after him.

The MLB Urban Youth Academies are designed to give inner-city youth an opportunity to grow up playing baseball and softball, either for free or at reduced costs. They offer instruction, camps and coaching clinics.

An indoor building will have six batting cages and offer classrooms for tutoring, college prep classes, college and career fairs, financial literacy and career workshops.

The Dodgers are co-sponsors of the first academy in Compton that opened in 2006, one of five currently in operation. MLB said in the past two years it has produced seven major leaguers – outfielders Khris Davis (Brewers), Anthony Gose (Tigers), Aaron Hicks (Yankees), Trayce Thompson (White Sox) and Efren Navarro (Angels), first baseman Jon Singleton (Astros) and right-hander Vincent Velasquez (Astros).

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