A Decade A Dodger: Remembering Clayton Kershaw’s Draft Day
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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And The Rest…

The Dodgers were able to snag Morris at No. 26. Then they picked up a familiar name at No. 31 — Preston Mattingly. In the 14th round they took a high school righty named Alex White, but he didn’t sign.

He’d go on to replace Andrew Miller at North Carolina and become a first-rounder three years later. In the 49th round (out of 50), Los Angeles took a flier on a high school first baseman who ended up going to college and proceeded to become one of the best first basemen in the game: Paul Goldschmidt.

But, they got Kershaw. That’s all I wanted. I never thought it would happen but it did. He was sent off to the Gulf Coast League, a rookie level league where teenagers try to figure out how to hit breaking balls or throw strikes.

Kershaw dominated, posting a 1.95 ERA in 10 games with 54 strikeouts compared to just five walks. A sign of things to come.

There was his season with the Great Lakes Loons in 2007. When asked what a “Loon” was, he was quoted as saying, “A loon is a loon, I suppose.” Then the promotion to Double-A.

Then there was the unforgettable 2008 Spring Training at-bat against Sean Casey, where “Public Enemy No. 1” was born. Finally, fewer than two years after being drafted, Kershaw made his Major League debut — at Dodger Stadium no less — on May 25, 2008.

And the rest is history.