Clayton Kershaw cut through the doubters, just like one of his curveballs through the strike zone.
Only took 13 seasons.
One of the most accomplished pitchers in baseball history attained the achievement he had sought most, winning the World Series for the first time when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
Kershaw went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA over 11 2/3 innings in two starts, striking out 14 and walking three.
And he earned his title not far from his hometown of Dallas, with family and friends filling a ticket allotment supplemented with "nosebleed seats."
Watching from the Dodgers bullpen in right-center field, Kershaw raised both arms and pointed fingers toward the sky, a huge smile across his face. His blue Dodgers sweatshirt still on, he ran through the bullpen door and to the infield to join his jumping teammates.
Kershaw's honors are too numerous to list on his likely Hall of Fame plaque: a five-time major league ERA champion, including four in a row from 2012-14; a three-time strikeout champion; a two-time 20-game winner in an era when innings are diminished; a pitching triple crown winner in 2011.
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An eight-time All-Star; NL Cy Young Award winner in 2011, 2013 and 2014; the 2014 NL MVP. Winner of the 2012 Roberto Clemente and 2014 Marvin Miller Awards for off-the-field achievements focusing on his community and charitable work.
But he entered this year just 9-11 in postseason play, with poor outings in a pair of World Series Game 5s that resulted in a 2017 no-decision and a 2018 defeat.
He responded by going 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts with five walks in 30 2/3 innings this postseason. For the first time since 2015, he wasn't inserted into a bullpen role when he wasn't starting. That seemed to ease issues with back pain that has flared up repeatedly for five years.