When the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers descend on Globe Life Field for the National Lague Divisional Series, neither team will have a home field advantage. But at least one of the players suiting up may feel like he does.
Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw will be pitching less than 25 miles from where he played high school baseball.
"He was something else," said Lew Kennedy, Kershaw's high school baseball coach. "When he got on a roll that fastball was hard to hit."
Kennedy, who now lives in Celina, remembers Kershaw well. He was the varsity baseball coach at Highland Park High School when Kershaw joined the team.
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"I was mainly with the straight baseball kids and they said, 'We've got some still coming out of football and one of them is a kid named Kershaw,'" Kennedy said.
Kennedy fondly remembered one of Kershaw's most memorable performances on the mound for the Scots.
"He was coming off an oblique injury and I thought, 'Is he going to be OK?' And he was more than OK," Kennedy said. "He struck out every one of their players."
Since he retired from life in the dugout in 2006, Kennedy has kept close tabs on his former pupil who skipped college and jumped straight to the pros.
"I was proud to see him do so well and get up there with the big boys so quickly because like two years in the minors and then right on up," Kennedy said.
Skyrocketing to fame and, perhaps, inspiring future Scots who see an image of Kershaw along the wall in right field every time they take the field for one of their games.
"You couldn't ask for anything better for kids to look at and say, 'Man that could be me one day,'" Kennedy said. "I'm sure that's a big inspiration for those kids that come through (Highland Park)."