Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Cy Young for Arise Africa

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw is one of the top contenders to win the Cy Young.  This award is given annually to the top pitcher in each league, and Kershaw's statistics offer a powerful argument on why he should receive the Cy Young.  His record is 21-5, his earned run average is 2.28, and he has recorded 248 strikeouts.  These are better statistics than his likely competitors for the National League Cy Young award, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, both pitchers with the Philadelphia Phillies.

I had a chance to see Kershaw pitch in 2008
The ERA and the won-loss record are both very impressive.  But I'd like to focus on the strikeouts because they have an impact on a program that serves people in Africa.  If you recall, at the beginning of this baseball season I posted a blog about an effort by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw launched in conjunction with their involvement in Arise Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping end poverty on the continent through health care, education, business and discipleship.  For everyone of his strikeouts, Kershaw pledged to donate $100 to the program.

So Kershaw struck out 245 batters during the course of the regular season, which is about to end in a couple of days.  This translates to about $24,500.  For a baseball player making millions, this probably is a little more than pocket change.  But I suspect that this is only a portion of what Clayton and Ellen will ultimately give to Arise Africa.  And who knows how many others learned about the program because of the efforts of the Kershaws to bring attention to the issue.

So here's hoping that Kershaw does indeed win the Cy Young award, not only for himself but also for all the many efforts to address hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (and around the world).

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