When the Los Angeles Dodgers were deciding on their Opening Day starter, one factor taken into consideration was the home opener and World Series ring ceremony. By starting Clayton Kershaw in the season opener, he was able to soak in all the festivities at Dodger Stadium.
“Kind of a culmination of everything from last year,” Kershaw said after a 3-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon. It was his first time speaking with media since the Dodgers received their historic World Series ring.
“Getting to see the ring for the first time, put that on and celebrate with your teammates, celebrate with fans back here at Dodger Stadium,” Kershaw added. “It was emotional for me to get to be a part of. Just a lot of gratitude on my end. It was a special day.”
Early last week the 33-year-old said the ring ceremony had long been circled on his calendar, and there was added excitement because the Dodgers had been approved to welcome roughly 15,000 fans to Dodger Stadium.
It was the first time for any attendance since Kershaw and the Dodgers were stunned in Game 5 of the 2019 National League Division Series by the Nationals. Kershaw surrendered back-to-back home runs that night and was dejected after his relief appearance.
He showed a rare side of resignation, which has since been erased with the Dodgers winning the World Series last year. The longtime ace, along with Justin Turner and Julio Urias, received the loudest applause during the ring ceremony.
“That was awesome. From the dugout I couldn’t really tell, but it looked like he was getting a little emotional, which he should,” Turner said of Kershaw. “So happy for him, obviously. That’s why I kept my glasses on. I didn’t want to let anyone see me getting emotional underneath there.”
Roberts pleased with Dodgers keeping focused
The World Series ring ceremony kicked off a busy weekend of pregame festivities as the Dodgers held a Tommy Lasorda tribute Saturday and celebrated the 40th anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela’s first full season in the Majors.
“It couldn’t have played out any better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club swept the Nationals.
“I think that the anticipation of getting our rings, the anticipation of getting our home opener behind us in front of our fans, to play a good club in the Nationals, to honor Tommy, to honor Fernando, and win three baseball games, really good stuff.
“I’m excited for the players, the staff, and fans especially.”
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