As one of the best pitchers in Los Angeles Dodgers history, Clayton Kershaw has spent years as a face of the franchise. Now in the first year of a three-year, $93 million contract extension, he will not be stepping down from that role any time soon.
During a Dodgers off day, Kershaw stopped by “The Ellen Show” to help host Ellen Degeneres during the show’s ‘Million Dollar May’ giveaway promotion. Kershaw surprised 26-year-old Dodgers fan Natalie Nunez, a self-described “big” Dodger fan who was wearing his jersey.
Ellen invited Nunez on stage to play a throwing game, but not before shocking her and the rest of the audience by bringing Kershaw out as well.
After some ribbing from Ellen over a pre-show ping pong game, Kershaw took some time to promote his and his wife’s charity, Kershaw’s Challenge, before helping Natalie through some “pregame rituals” such as deep breaths and a “ride the pony” dance.
Natalie took aim at a carnival target board with several plates that had different dollar amounts on them, hitting several before time ran out as Kershaw encouraged her.
DeGeneres then let Kershaw fire a fastball of his own, promising a $10,000 donation to Kershaw’s Challenge no matter what he hit. Kershaw calmly took a ball out of the bucket and nailed the tiniest target on the board.
He ended up with a donation check while Natalie received $20,000 for her efforts.
Natalie told Ellen that she was saving money to attend college in the fall, working as a beer distributor and brand ambassador while also helping care for her autistic brother. She said she also hopes to work for a nonprofit someday.
Kershaw, meanwhile, seemed to enjoy himself and was happy to talk about the Dodgers’ hot start to their 2019 season.
“I feel great about it,” he said. “It’s going really well right now. Being in LA, having a chance to win the World Series every year, it’s a special thing. It’s awesome.”