Top Ten Dodger Homeruns of 2013: 2- Clayton Kershaw’s Opening Day Homerun

We are to the top two Dodger homeruns of 2013, and numbers 1 and 2 could probably be interchangeable to me. Clayton’s Kershaw’s Opening Day homerun was memorable on its own right, but to be able to have seen it in person while in the stands at Dodger Stadium made it one of the most exciting moments I’ve experienced as a Dodger fan. Kershaw’s brilliance would be a constant theme throughout the 2013 Dodger season. Kershaw’s Cy Young Worthy 2013 season began with a bang not only on the mound but also with the bat.

2. Clayton Kershaw‘s Opening Day Homerun Helps Dodgers Blank Giants 4-0 on Monday April 1, 2013.

Sandy Koufax threw out the first pitch. Clayton Kershaw pitched a four-hit complete game shutout versus the rival pumpkin colored Giants. Kershaw not only dazzled on the mound, but he also hit a go-ahead homerun (the first homerun of his career) in the eighth inning off George Kontos with nobody out.

 

Clayton Kershaw pitches in the first inning of Opening Day 2013 at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Clayton Kershaw pitches in the first inning of Opening Day 2013 at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Kershaw became the first pitcher to homer and pitch a shutout on Opening Day since the Indians’ Bob Lemon on April 14, 1953, against the White Sox.

The homerun, a beauty which rainbowed over the center field wall, ignited the electric Opening Day crowd at Dodgers Stadium. Scott and I lived in the glorious moment, which included the promise of a new fresh season. Little did we know at the moment, but the Dodgers would go on to knock on the door of the World Series and reach the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Unfortunately the last moment we have of Clayton Kershaw was the shelled looked Clayton as he came out of Game 6 of the NLCS after a rare disastrous start for the left-hander. Yet without Kershaw’s historic season in 2013, the Dodgers would have never made it as far as Game 6 of the NLCS.Clayton Kershaw is the perfect example of player who deserves both the Cy Young Award and the M.V.P.

Kersh’s homerun broke the scoreless tie between the Dodgers and Giants on Opening Day, and it spurred a eighth-inning rally which resulted in the shutout win. This shutout was the first one on Opening Day since Hideo Nomo in 2003 and first shutout in a Dodgers Home Opener since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

Carl Crawford went 2-for-4 with a run, but this was also the team with Justin Sellers and Luis Cruz. It seems so long ago now.

Kershaw’s contract status was on the rumor table around Opening Day, and although most thought he’d garner around $200 million. Kershaw got angry when the contract negotiations weren’t kept confidential. There has been more recent rumors about his contract extension talks, and it most likely will be completed during this offseason if they reach an agreement.

Kershaw was of  course humble about the comparison between him and Sandy Koufax:

“I just don’t want to disrespect Sandy; he doesn’t deserve that. He’s the best left-handed pitcher ever. Obviously, I’m honored with the comparison. I don’t put merit into it. I’ve got a long way to go.”

The Opening Day homerun was one of the magical moments which will live on in infamy amongst Dodger fans. Dodger Stadium exploded, and the ball seemed to slowly fall over the center field wall as I looked upon the emerald field. It was a taste of what was to come in the rest of the regular season for the Dodgers. Kershaw would lead the Dodgers to the postseason, and unfortunately Kershaw along with his teammates would come up just short of their ultimate goal. The Dodgers must now extend Kershaw and allow him to be rewarded for his talent as well as his philanthropy. Kershaw is our generation’s Koufax, and I would like nothing more than for Kershaw to retire a Dodger one day and wear a L.A. cap when he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame just like his predecessor Sandy.

 

 

 

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