Clayton Kershaw wins 2013 Roy Campanella Award

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The left-handed pitcher captured the eighth annual award on Thursday.

Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw on Thursday was named the winner of the 2013 Roy Campanella Award, an honor given annually to the player deemed most inspirational on the team. The award, which has been given out since 2006, is voted on by Dodgers players and coaches.

The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the "spirit and leadership" of Campanella, the former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher who won three MVP awards (1951, 1953, 1955) and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.

The award will be presented to Kershaw on the field at Dodger Stadium before Saturday night's game against the Rockies. Campanella's daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, will give Kershaw the award.

Kershaw is 15-9 with a major-league-best 1.88 ERA this season, and leads the National League with 224 strikeouts. With one more start remaining on Friday, Kershaw will become the first pitcher to lead the major leagues in ERA for three straight seasons since Greg Maddux from 1993-1995.

In addition to his on-field excellence, Kershaw and his wife Ellen head Kershaw's Challenge, which supports charities in Los Angeles and Dallas in addition to abroad. In partnership with Arise Africa, Kershaw built an orphanage called "Hope's Home" in Lusaka, Zambia.

Kershaw won the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2013 Branch Rickey Award, both honors for his work on and off the field.

In conjunction with the award the Dodgers will for a fourth consecutive year make a financial contribution to Roy and Roxie Campanella Scholarship Program to the physical therapy department of the college of health and human development at Cal State Northridge.

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