Spahn, the winningest lefty in baseball history recorded 363 wins, notching 20 or more wins in 13 seasons.
Eight times Spahn led the league in wins. The award is presented each year to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball with the ceremony hosted by Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Rotary Club.
“It is such an honor to represent Warren Spahn and his many accomplishments on the mound,” Kershaw said. “Thank you to the Bricktown Rotary Club for awarding me this prestigious honor. I'm ever so grateful for your ongoing support. Lord willing, I look forward to being a good steward of all this award embodies.”
Criteria for receiving the Spahn Award are based on a pitcher’s wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Greg Spahn, the son of the late Hall of Fame pitcher said Kershaw represents the award well.
“Clayton led MLB in both strikeouts and the lowest ERA,” Greg Spahn said. “It is the first time a pitcher finished the season below 2.00 since 2005. Now he’s leading the Dodgers into post-season play. Clayton is a true competitor and has earned a second Warren Spahn Award.”
This season Kershaw reached historical status in his achievements. By leading the majors in ERA for the third consecutive season, he joined Greg Maddux (1993-95) and Lefty Grove (1929-31) as the only pitchers in MLB history to do so.
Maddux and Kershaw are among the three pitchers to lead the National League in earned run average three consecutive years; Sandy Koufax led the NL for five straight seasons from 1962-66.
In addition to his work on the field, Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, founded Kershaw's Challenge in 2011. With the goal of transforming the lives of children in America and Africa, the organization provides a home to orphans living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia. In 2012, Kershaw’s Challenge expanded to serve at-risk youth in Los Angeles and Dallas. For every strikeout, Kershaw donates $500 to the foundation.
Spahn Award Gala Chairman Bill Hickman said Kershaw is a shining example of Rotary’s commitment to taking on some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
“Clayton Kershaw serves as an inspiration not only to the Dodgers, but also to our nation and the world,” Hickman said. “He uses his talents and passion to make a difference and challenges others to do the same. We are honored to welcome him back to Oklahoma City in January to celebrate his accomplishments."
Past Spahn Award winners include: Gio Gonzales (2012); Kershaw (2011); David Price (2010); CC Sabathia (2007–2009); Johan Santana (2004, 2006); Dontrelle Willis (2005); Andy Pettitte (2003); and Randy Johnson (1999–2002).
Kershaw will be formally recognized at the Warren Spahn Award Gala on January 28 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame & Jim Thorpe Museum.
Ticket information for the Gala can be found at www.okcspahnawards.com.
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