The Dodgers left Coors Field for the last time this season on Wednesday, but pitcher Clayton Kershaw will be making at least one return trip to Denver in 2014. Kershaw on Thursday was named the winner of the 2013 Branch Rickey Award in an announcement made at the Denver Athletic Club.
The award is given annually to baseball players "who contribute unselfishly to their communities and who are strong role models for young people." Kershaw will receive the award at a banquet on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Denver.
Kershaw has raised thousands of dollars through his charitable organization, Kershaw's Challenge, committed to helping at-risk youth both in the U.S. and abroad. Among the various projects funded by the organization is an orphanage built in Lusaka, Zambia, called "Hope's Home."
Kershaw also won the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, given by MLB for his sportsmanship and off-field work.
The Branch Rickey Award was chosen through online voting from a 450-member selection committee of sports media, baseball executives, past winners and Rotary district governors. Fan voting through Facebook was also included this year. Though voting totals aren't released, Kershaw was noted to have "won the fan voting by an impressive margin."
Past winners of the Rickey award include Dodgers Brett Butler (1996) and Tommy Lasorda (2006). R.A. Dickey won the award in 2012.
The Rickey award won't likely be the only honor won by Dickey in 2012 to be won by Kershaw in 2013.