Clayton Kershaw’s legacy is already cemented, ring or no ring

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

Clayton Kershaw is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. He doesn’t need a ring to prove that.

Clayton Kershaw is a no-doubt first ballot Hall of Famer. Anyone who disagrees with that simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

But the conversation surrounding Kershaw in the twilight of his career regards his lack of postseason success. Because despite all the success that Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed over his career, he still has yet to reach that final milestone.

Some people will say that casts a shadow over his career. But those people would be wrong. Kershaw’s awards case at home is full of trophies. He’s a three-time Cy Young winner with four other top-5 finishes. He’s led the league in ERA five times. He’s been an all-star eight times. And he even has an MVP award, typically reserved for position players except in the rare cases where a pitcher has a truly special season.

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He’s racked up over 2500 strikeouts in over 2300 innings with a career ERA of just 2.43. And he’s still going strong at age 32. In 2020, he posted an ERA of 2.16.

Kershaw has already etched out a special place in the history of the game. At this point, the only thing he needs to do is succeed in the postseason. He needs to win a ring to prove to even the most stubborn haters that he’s one of the greatest this game has ever seen.

And the Dodgers are positioned to do it. With the series tied at 1-1, Kershaw has a chance to be the starter in a closeout game five. He was absolutely fantastic in game one, throwing six innings and allowing just one earned run with eight strikeouts. Another performance like that, and Kershaw will be in good shape to add that last milestone to his incredible resume.

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And even if the Dodgers lose again, Kershaw can look back on his career and know that he is one of the best to ever do it.