Clayton Kershaw had a fantastic season in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and to the victor goes the spoils. on Thursday, the Los Angeles Sports Council announced the southpaw was named the 2011 Sportsman of the Year. Kershaw will be presented with the award during the seventh annual LA Sports Awards, to be held on March 15 at Club Nokia at LA Live.
The Sportsman of the Year award is "given to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year." Kershaw is the first Dodger to win the award, following three straight Los Angeles Lakers. Derek Fisher won the award in 2010, Pau Gasol captured the honor in 2009, and Kobe Bryant won in 2008. Other previous winners were David Beckham in 2007, Elton Brand in 2006, and Matt Leinart in 2005.
Kershaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts for the Dodgers in 2011, winning the pitching triple crown in the National League. In addition to being named an All-Star for the first time in his career, Kershaw was voted as the NL Cy Young Award winner and even won a Gold Glove.
He also helped raise money for Arise Africa, an organization that helps build orphanages in Zambia. Kershaw pledged $100 per strikeout toward the organization through Kershaw's Challenge, which helped raise money throughout the year.
The LA Sports Awards will be shown on Prime Ticket, at a date and time to be determined.
For more on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.