June 16, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 78, Clayton Kershaw (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

It is too easy for a certain kind of fan — and I plead guilty — to fall into the Brad Pitt as Billy Beane trap of getting too romantic about baseball. Baseball is, after all, just a game with all of the problems, flaws, controversies, annoyances and disappointments that games played by human beings will have. For the first half of the 20th century, the game would not let black players in. For more than 75 years, the owners granted themselves an unshakeable and unbreakable hold on players and their futures. There is some brand of cheating and self-destructive greed at every point.

We know all this.

But, sometimes, dammit, we baseball romantics can’t help…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 78, Clayton Kershaw” at The Athletic