The Roberto Clemente award, named for the Hall of Famer, is given anually to a player that contributes both on and off the field. Kershaw was chosen from a list of 30 nominees by a panel that includes MLB commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, wife of Roberto Clemente.
Kershaw expressed his gratitude, from the press release:
"It is an incredible honor to receive this award," said Kershaw. "Just being associated with someone like Roberto Clemente is truly humbling and I am extremely grateful."
Off the field, Kershaw and his wife Ellen founded "Kershaw's Challenge," a charitable organization that gives back to communities and at-risk children, including orphans and those suffering from diseases related to HIV and AIDS.
On the field, the two-time All-Star claimed the NL Cy Young Award and Gold Glove Award in 2011. This past season, he was 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA in 33 starts.
Kershaw is the second Dodger to ever earn the award, joining Steve Garvey who was named the 1981 winner.