By Jon Weisman
Not surprisingly, Clayton Kershaw has once again made himself busy in the charity and community service arena since the offseason began.
On Thursday, Kershaw and his wife Ellen will host their second annual benefit concert in Dallas to benefit Kershaw’s Challenge, the nonprofit charity they founded to transform at-risk communities and the lives of children worldwide. Country music artist Easton Corbin is the featured performer.
“Our inaugural event was awesome last year,” Kershaw said. “We are excited to host it again this year in our hometown of Dallas. Ellen and I love including our friends and family in this important work. We’re looking forward to another great night for a great cause.”
In addition to fostering strong connections in the Los Angeles and Dallas communities, the Kershaws also partner with organizations in Zambia and the Dominican Republic.
[mlbvideo id=”530188383″ width=”550″ height=”308” /]
Meanwhile, Kershaw is also part of a group that includes Major League Baseball that will build the Texas Rangers MLB Urban Youth Academy in West Dallas. The new state-of-the-art facility, which will provide free (or reduced cost) and year-round opportunities for North Texas youth, will be built on a 17-acre site and include five fields and an Academy building with a full turf professional-sized infield, six batting/pitching cages, classrooms, and a weight and nutrition room.
The Academy will reside on the original site of the Texas Rangers Johnny Oates Youth Ballpark, which opened in 1999 in honor of the late Rangers manager and former Dodger. The professional-sized show field will be named after Oates. Another of the youth fields will be named after Kershaw, who made a personal financial donation to the project.
The first MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton was established in 2006. A total of 46 Academy alumni have been selected in the last four MLB drafts, including Dillon Tate, a Compton Academy alumnus who was the fourth overall selection by the Rangers in the 2015 first round.