The Sports Report: Clayton Kershaw has a day to remember at the All-Star game
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From Jack Harris: In a game celebrating stars past and present, it was the man at the intersection of the two who shined brightest Tuesday night.
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From the moment he walked out of the dugout, beginning his warmup for the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980, Clayton Kershaw was met with applause.
When he was introduced during a pregame ceremony while getting loose in the bullpen, a hometown crowd of 52,518 erupted in one of its loudest cheers of the night.
And before he toed the rubber for the first All-Star Game start of his career, taking the field to his usual entrance song of “We Are Young” by Fun, he took a step back and let himself gaze at the surroundings — a rare moment of sentimentality from the 34-year-old pitcher.
“Knowing that I’m not going to get to start an All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium ever again,” Kershaw said, “it was just really cool for me to kind of take that all in at once.”
The American League won baseball’s 92nd All-Star Game, prevailing 3-2 on back-to-back, fourth-inning home runs Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees and Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins hit against Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin.
Kershaw, however, was feted at his home ballpark and treated like the game’s biggest star.
“I can’t say enough good things about Dodger fans, people in L.A. in general, just how much these last few days, how much they wanted me to do this,” said Kershaw, who has spent his entire career with the Dodgers and will be a free agent at the end of the season. “It meant a lot to me too. So that was really cool.”
There were other players, personalities and pulsating recognitions Tuesday night.
During team introductions, former Dodgers fan favorites Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Albert Pujols were showered with cheers. Representatives from the rival San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros were greeted with boos. And as each of the Dodgers’ other five All-Stars was announced, the ovation crescendoed in raucous celebration.
“It was amazing,” Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said. “Anytime I can be a part of an All-Star Game, it’s going to be amazing, but especially in your backyard.”
From Jorge Castillo: Mookie Betts wanted to deliver a message before Tuesday’s All-Star Game, quietly but with a purpose. It was written in blue airbrush on the black T-shirt he wore during batting practice.
“We need more Black people at the stadium,” the shirt read.
A few hours later, Betts used his voice. With the National League and American League All-Star teams gathered on the Dodger Stadium field, Betts grabbed the microphone to orchestrate a happy birthday greeting for Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie Robinson, who turned 100 on Tuesday. It was only right that Betts, one of six Dodgers All-Stars, handled MC duties.
“I’m just glad everybody joined in,” Betts said. “Everything she’s been through and is going through, it may be rough on her, but she’s handling it very well.”
Betts, 29, was named an All-Star for the sixth straight season. He was voted in as a starter by fans for the third time. He’s a former most valuable player and a two-time World Series champion. He’s on track for induction to Cooperstown. And he’s accomplished those feats as one of baseball’s few prominent Black faces.
Hernández: Shohei Ohtani and Clayton Kershaw don’t hold back in memorable All-Star duel
Giancarlo Stanton comes full circle with homer to take home All-Star Game MVP
Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis comfortable as ‘the voice of baseball’ at Fox
Commentary: All-Star Game is jewel but World Series is real gem
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From Myah Taylor: Sparks guard Brittney Sykes and sneakers of all kinds awaited the young adults of the Covenant House California on Monday afternoon for the conclusion of a shoe drive honoring Brittney Griner.
The transitional youth ages 18 to 24 lined up in the shelter’s courtyard to chat with Sykes and pick out their favorite kicks donated by the Sparks in partnership with the nonprofit Hav A Sole. Sporting a shirt reading “We Are BG,” Sykes listened to their stories and hyped them up as they shopped for shoes collected throughout the WNBA season.
“These are kinda swaggy,” she said to one young woman before convincing her to try on the sneakers.
It’s what Griner used to do in Phoenix for her Heart and Sole Shoe Drive before she was detained by Russian officials in February while traveling during the WNBA offseason to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, an elite basketball club.
Nneka Ogwumike scored a season-high 35 points and the Sparks pulled away in the second half on Thursday night, beating Indiana 86-79 and extending the Fever’s losing streak to 10 games.
Ogwumike, whose career high is 38 points, made 12 of 20 shots with two 3-pointers for Los Angeles (11-14). She missed a jumper and two free throws in the final minute. Jordin Canada scored 11.
Ogwumike had 21 points in the first half to help the Sparks take a 42-40 lead into intermission.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1858 — Fans are charged for the first time to see a baseball game. Approximately 1,500 fans pay 50 cents to see the New York All-Stars beat Brooklyn 22-18 at Fashion Race Course on Long Island.
1958 — The PGA championship calls for medal play for the first time and Dow Finsterwald beats Billy Casper.
1963 — Mary Mills wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf championship by three strokes over Sandra Palmer and Louise Suggs.
1974 — Carl Rosen’s Chris Evert beats Miss Musket by 50 lengths in the winner-take-all match race at Hollywood Park.
1975 — Sandra Palmer wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf championship by four strokes over Nancy Lopez, Joanne Carner and Sandra Post.
1976 — Hank Aaron hits his 755th and last home run.
1980 — Tom Watson wins the British Open by four strokes over Lee Trevino. Watson shoots a 13-under 271 at Muirfield Golf Links at Gullane, Scotland. Watson becomes the fourth American to win three Open titles, joining Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus.
1997 — Justin Leonard closes with a 65 to win the British Open at 12-under 272 at Royal Troon. Leonard, whose closing round is one of the best in major championship history, takes the lead from Jesper Parnevik with a birdie on No. 17.
2002 — Tiger Woods, trying to win the third leg of the Grand Slam, shoots his worst round (81) as a professional, knocking himself out of contention.
2008 — Padraig Harrington is the first European in more than a century to win golf’s oldest championship two years in a row. Harrington pulls away from mistake-prone Greg Norman and holds off a late charge by Ian Poulter for a four-shot victory in the British Open.
2009 — Lauren Lappin homers to start a three-run rally in the third inning, and the United States beats Australia 3-1 in the World Cup of Softball championship game at Oklahoma City.
2013 — China’s Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao wins the first diving gold medal at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain. Wu earns a record sixth world title in the women’s 3-meter synchronized springboard.
2014 — Rory McIlroy completes a wire-to-wire victory in the British Open to capture the third leg of the career Grand Slam. McIlroy closes with a 1-under 71 for a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. McIlroy, winner of the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA Championship, joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players with three different majors at age 25 or younger.
2015 — Zach Johnson rolls in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and outlasts Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a three-man playoff to win the British Open. Jordan Spieth, looking to win his third straight major, falls one shot short of joining the playoff.
2020 — Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first man to score 50 goals in Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League.
2021 — The Milwaukee Bucks defeat the Phoenix Suns 105-95 in game six of the NBA Finals to win their second NBA Championship. It was the fourth win in a row after falling behind 2-0 in the series. The Bucks’ F Giannis Antetokounmpo was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Hank Aaron hits the final home run of his career, off of Angels pitcher Dick Drago. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
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