Clayton and Ellen Kershaw - Baseball, Leadership, and Giving Back
Three Times Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and his high school sweetheart and now wife Ellen split time between their native home of Dallas and their adopted home of Los Angeles and through the Lens of their nonprofit Kershaw's they've seen both communities rise up to try to help you know talk about ways that you've seen America at its best right now. People are desperate to give and to want to find opportunities and outlets to be able to give back and one reason baseball means so much to the Kershaw's is that is provided them with the opportunity to give back not just at home but across the globe is a so providential to see you know God gave us baseball and then the have Ellen's passion of Africa and then use that forum for Kershaw Challenge. There's a lot of divine intervention there so it was really see. We'll talk about the work. The kershaw's are doing and as we often do. We'll talk about leadership this time in the baseball clubhouse we'll find out WHO's the better. Mario Kart and Smash Brothers Player Ellen. Clayton? I'm Major Kaufman. And this is this strategic presented by the George W Bush Presidential Center Special Roundtable today and we're even recording video. Which new thing and I know. I'm out of guys appeared hand motions anything else. That happens really more comfortable in audio. Only bet we had to do something special. Because this is a dual strategic podcast in catalyst episode so first off. Hello to my esteemed. Colleague Britney Bang and she's the newly minted editor of the catalyst the Journal of ideas from the Bush Institute were celebrating America at its best Britney. Thanks for doing this for having me. And in past years right around mid-may these folks would be traveling. The country probably first place in the National League West but instead they're here with us so thank you for taking time from your family's to zoom all the way in from across town across Dallas Allen and Clayton Kershaw Clayton the three time Cy Young Award winner nationally. GimMe p thank you so so much for doing this. Yeah thanks for having us here so Brennan kick things off. Sure thanks Inter so. He mentioned that. We're celebrating. America at its best. We're doing that. In our latest issue of the catalyst were really highlighting. The helpers heroes among us and so what better coupled to talk to you than the two of you so I wanted to start by asking you both. Where are you seeing America at? Its Best Ellen. If you WANNA start in Clayton. Gosh you know just in our community. I think we've seen so many people just being really unique on how to connect with one another Especially from our kids perspective. Just feel like people are getting really creative and had some drive-by concerts. These birthday parades that are happening. Even their schools that are doing online learning. And you know we do gain nights the zoom in play. Bingo Since away and so there have been some really cool ways of you just realize. It's such an innate need and s we need to connect with people and so people are getting really creative with how to do that and not see each other in person did I mean to piggyback off. That one of our kiddos their school Did a basically through an email out saying put bears your front windows and Act like your kids are going on a bear hunt and so you can walk your kids around the neighborhood and they can count. The bears stuffed animals they see and I mean that was so fun for does and I think just like Allan said just the innate like wants and needs to connect me just even walking around here in like waving. I mean just simple gesture to wave. I feel like everybody is waving now. And just like saying hi. It's filing as opposed to. Maybe we're so busy. They just zoomed through in. You don't even stop so people definitely aren't as busy now and it's been it's been. There are some great blessings that have come out of this time for us. So it's always inspirational to see athletes. That are active in their communities L. And can you tell us about Kershaw's challenge in what you guys are doing to support the communities that are dealing with cove in nineteen right now. Absolutely yeah Kershaw's challenges. The name of our charity. That claimed I began ten years ago. We're actually about to celebrate our ten year anniversary in every year. We roll out new beneficiaries and projects. Her shot challenge will get to raise money through our ping pong tournament in la through. Casey live our country music concert in Dallas in this year right as we are rolling out our beneficiaries projects for this year. Obviously we're in the midst of Kovin and there are so many organizations that are providing meals relief for people that are usually in meat and so thankfully to our beneficiaries behind every door here in Dallas and the dream center in La. They are on the front lines trying to provide hot meals in relief to people that are in such desperate need and so we just ran out this Cova campaign for two weeks in. I mean it was amazing. We we raised over eighty five thousand dollars just in two weeks for these organization. So you know talk about ways that we've seen America be great and at its best right now. People are desperate to give and to want to find opportunities outlets to be able to give back and we got to see that firsthand we saw so many of our faithful donors to continue to support us. But something that was really cool was that we saw five ten twenty dollar donations from across the country. Just fine to help with whatever that killed. I think that was special to see. Just people just like onset are willing to help and just giving whatever would however much or little they have trying to support other people so definitely definitely cool thing to see out of this tweet campaign you picked to charities one in Dallas One Los Angeles two homes. How did you pick these two organizations to support like do they have special meaning to you also like instead every year? We picked new beneficiaries for our Kershaw's challenge project as what we do every year have different. Great applications been just fortunate that worked behind every door and the dream center before you're GonNa continue to have them as beneficiaries. We have other projects are in continue to do it but since they already had things setup for Kobe relief and being able to provide meals. We just decided to do a quick to campaign and let people know that if you donated during this time or be going to these two nonprofits and it was. It was awesome work out really well. The Dream Center is serving literally. Thousands of hot meals to families who all of a sudden are without jobs without students have all their kids home and not eating at school and sing with behind every door. They're creating these care packages. They're delivering people's homes with groceries and essentials in hygiene products. So almost like we didn't want to recreate the wheel when we're trying to figure out a way to support people in need during this Kobe time we just wanted to partner with those who are already on the frontlines had relationships felt again. We just love these organizations. We believe in them in. We trust them. We're thankful that our donors trust us and know that we do all the vetting before handed a know where their money can go. That's so great. One of the things that Kershaw's challenge in the Bush Institute have in common is a commitment to Africa. You know president. Bush Started pep far when he was in office in. We continue that work now through. Something called the gopher partnership screen and treat cervical cancer on the continent. I was fortunate enough to be able to go a couple of years ago. Botswana Namibia and see that work on the ground and there is something it changes your heart. I think it changes your perspective on things and I know that that's the case for the two of us. I wondered if you could talk a little bit about that. Well I mean we love with which is doing over in Africa. You even Zambia. Where that's that's where Kershaw challenge all began for us. I started going there. I mean probably fifteen years ago or something like that in left a huge piece of my heart over there told Clayton first time you hug. Zambian child your life is forever changed because it becomes about that one kid and if you could just change the liked that one kid that was worth all the work and all the money and and everything looks good over there and sometimes I think we get really overwhelmed by the massive Lincoln of poverty that is Africa and all the need that is over there and and so. I just think that that's what we try to do with Kershaw's challenges. It's one kid at a time one time than so we've gotten to build a couple orphanages over there just children's home where these kids about thirty Home are able to be raised in a home. Feels like a family brothers sisters house parents and now we're finishing up the school over there so you know that's been always the heartbeat in a cornerstone of Kershaw's challenge in and I'm thankful that the Lord is kind of expanded our vision to Dallas in La in the Dominican Republic. Slow in our beneficiary over there is called arise Africa and so through them is kind of how we've been able to do all this like onset start at one kid and her name was hope. And I remember I mean clears day when Allen got I got a phone call from Africa just saying we need to help this girl. I mean do something more than just. Have you know her basic needs met and now hope is Thriving in one of the home and she's getting ready to finish up school and start thinking about a profession and things like this and Just to see where she was now matter. We think she's probably nine or ten no matter where she is now is just a just to see the other. One kid is is Is Really Special Great. Thank you guys for that incredible work. That was fifteen years ago. So you would have. You'd just kind of starting off in your baseball career. That memory still with you this this many years later. Yeah that was actually our honeymoon. Basically we got married in two thousand ten and then Three weeks later. She had me over to Africa show. That was my first trip over. Ellen had been gone. You know a few times before. That was that was microbes strip. Basically with hers right after we got married. It was just so providential to see you know God gave us baseball in Ellen's passion of Africa and then to use that flat form. I heard shouts challenge. There's a lot of divine intervention there so's it was really cool to see while we're talking about the Bush institute another another aspect that we're really passionate about his leadership in developing leaders and leadership and baseball's a little different that there's no leadership training classes as far as I know of not in the majors. But you're now well into your career Clayton era all your cy young winner your MVP so by default you kind of become a clubhouse leader. Is that something you really relish and enjoy or is it something that that you seek out or does it just happen? Became a veteran fast. You know I looked up and I was surrounded by twenty two and twenty three year old so that happened really fast but you know I think leadership isn't necessarily necessarily driven by success how people are drawn to you. It's how is how you interact with people in the clubhouse it's been it's just been an interesting journey for me to have so many different people ahead of me and kind of realize what I liked. But I didn't like how how I really learned and the way I learned is by example has lots of guys in front of me that they talk to me but didn't really do anything because I went and saw what they did and they weren't doing what they said and so for people just to have that example. I think is so important so. I'm not a huge vocal leader. I wouldn't say definitely try to do everything by example and try to do things the right way. And hopefully people have questions about that and That's Kinda how I try to get through guys just by continuing to do the same things every day and be consistent and people end up respecting you for that. You know we've never had. I don't Think League Baseball player. Any other professional athlete apply to our Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. So you know. I think the schedules overlap right now. But once you retire many years down the road take a look at that. I think you might get something. Let's keep talking about baseball. We've got Clayton Kershaw here. We have to talk a little bit of baseball. You got a few miles on the on the tires now. You're not quite as young as you used to be. So look good but not quite as young. Is this break. Good for you have you. Have you had this chance to rejuvenate a little more or are you worried about breaking out of that routine? Yeah you don't really get to build of rest. You know like no matter how long you rest you still play the season and feel the aches pains of the season. So it you. You definitely need some recovery time. But you don't need the six months that we've had obviously now go of it so I'm excited to baseball back online. Both were excited so if it does happen where I'll be ready is. This is weird for US TO BE IN DALLAS. At this time we're not used to it Everybody says it's hot here. It's beautiful weather. Yeah I don't know everybody's complaining about it the summer it's beautiful so we're we're excited search essentially gets a place in baseball and I'll be ready to go and Aaron. What's keeping you guys busy with this unexpected family time you've got right now. Man are three children are keeping US busy on. We've been so spoiled having Clayton around usually this time. Yes we're in. La Clayton is on a plane every other week and we try to follow him and and travel a lot so honestly we we get a little antsy when we're in one place for too long. We don't really know what to do when we've been in the same place for months on end and so we're ready to get back out there for us. It's just a big adventure getting to do baseball and travel and our kids missing baseball friends that we see at the gangs every night in L. A. And so we are eager to get back air and but we also savoring time here with. Clayton. We're not ready to give Quite yet he's a famously man of routine. How's he holding up? Is he going driving you nuts yet? No he's doing great. I mean he has an offseason routine of he works out and throws in the morning. And that's kind of when we've been doing a little bit of home schooling in the morning. Our kids are in preschool. So it's not anything too complicated you know from twelve o'clock on. He's all in his hands on and we just tag team the three kids. We've got a baby. That's just three months old and then two toddlers and so there's plenty of activities for the two of us to run around and and keep busy with a which which of the three is going to be the athlete. He think I mean depends. Charlie LOVES BASEBALL ARE MIDDLE MIDDLE SON? Charley loves it a Cooper's four months or not sure and then our daughter's the oldest Kelly. She's five and she's not a huge. She'll play but I think she's more of like so. Probably fall announce steps and be like the dancer bowery inside but I will say she is not like the Kershaw family that she's really fast. She can run so maybe maybe she'll have some track aspirations or something like that and that's one thing that there will never be able to do so that'd be cool if you're precision athletes but not necessarily speed gazelles out. There you. I'M NOT GONNA win. Any truck need says for sure. Actually that kind of brings up something that we were wanting to try with you guys you know. One of these professional athletes a hardcore competitor. But in every marriage. I think there's usually some sort of competition so we wanted to throw a few topics out at you and tell us who's better at which of these different things and so let's try one on you just mentioned on you're dancers so you to get out there on the dance floor. Who's the better dancer between you two? I mean she's a better dancer but I'll own my bad dancing. I'm not afraid to go out there. Are they use a lawn mower and all the other classic moves? Oh yeah whatever it takes. Yeah what about Papa shot? Oh Wow that's Clayton. Yeah that's out Clayton. I'll take that one. Yeah I beat her. What's what's the special techniques on the wrist or elbow You know what I don't know but just shoot it fast and hope go in said you do a ping pong tournament every year. Who's the WHO's the Ping Pong champion? That'd be Clayton to. I'm trying to keep up with him a little bit but now I paddling. I'm no good. You're like me then. I find nothing more frustrating than trying to play Ping Pong like I can't I can never hit it. Yeah that's that's probably an unfair one. What about cooking? Who was the cooking challenge in the household? I think I could take that one her. I don't even try fun. Cooking during quarantine. It's given us a good reason to have home cooked meals. Sit Down as a family. And so that's been a silver lining You know what right now? I'm clicking through the new Magnolia Cookbook and it's been awesome New York too aren't you? Yeah that's funny. I just got it last week. I haven't opened in. Yeah okay good good good another good project yes exactly with the remote control that are picking something on Net. Flix to watch and we're both not good at that. I think it's almost overwhelming to try and start a new season of something watching we just watch reruns like Arxan wreck in new girl over and over again by the end the day we don't WanNa like have to think and think of new characters to watch and understand what's going on so just like a quick little funny show that we need. Yeah Mario Kart Oh man. That was our high school for the two of us. Got into heated competitions high school over Mario Part Money. I think it was me might be. I don't WanNa give that to you. It's probably it's close though it's course now but lately. Clayton is best out Nintendo sixty four back out though so he on doing smash brothers then his office in Brian to teach our kids. What all those are crazy. Who's your who's your Gamer Kirby Kirby okay. Yeah I was. I was at Gigli. Puff Guy Myself as cool as we were in high school. And so we didn't high school played Ping Pong and smash brothers. Great seeing how we never let anybody go without asking them kind of one. Final question usually asked one of two one is what we not talking about as a nation. We've asked our law recently. So you WANNA throw a Joe. What is the question that no one is asked you in this long journey of doing this that you wish someone would? I don't know if this really answers the question as well but I think that the one thing I would want more people to ask about or talk about is how younger people highschoolers middle schoolers kind of the younger generation. What they could be doing to start making a difference right where they are. I think sometimes Clayton I talk about how we Kinda felt like. We needed to wait until we were more and had an income in had you know a platform and you know in more independence to start giving back like we needed to reach a certain point point in our life in order to start giving back to start a foundation to start doing things to make a difference. One thing that we just want to have more conversation about it and really be able to ask questions and try to figure out is how can the younger Our kids feel like they can be making a difference with the abilities that they have you know if they don't have money. Well let's do eliminate stands to raise money you know if they don't maybe using their time or or reading books and every book that they you know that they read their their parents. Donate a dollar to an organization. Something like that. I just think that we'd love to connect with the younger generation. Figure out how they can start giving back to others in need. I mean I think for me. Baseball lies a lot of people. Look at the end result and rightfully so you know it's games about winning and ultimately how you get judged in this game Which is the way it should be. You know you're there to win but you don't just show up win. There's a lot of things that go into it on a day in day out basis to put yourself in a position to win so when people just ask about the final product. I think people should ask a lot more about the journey. I think Kobe had a quote like out in the Kobe. Said something about I don't WanNA butcher it but What I remember is the journey. Not The end result. Or something like that and That's what he'll miss. That's what almost two is like the in between The gains and just what it took what it takes to continue to perform at an elite level and win games and I think people should just dive into that because everybody wants the end result but not a lot of people have the willingness in the determination to continue to do it Yes about leadership earlier. I mean I think a lot of people can get up maybe necessarily get really good speeches about leadership and talk about what it looks like. But there's not that many people willing to get down in the trenches and fight and grind compete can be consistent day in day out to have the respect of people that they want to follow. You know it's one of the things I admire about President Bush the most is just. I feel like he had that mentality. That's that's a long winded. Answer to your question but something dot asking about the journey. No not at all because this was just an incredible opportunity. We can't thank you enough for doing it and you know if there's any anything we can do for you guys ever. You know maybe sometime. We can do something in person when we're not all locked in her house that'd be Nice we love to give. We'd love to get you all out. I agree special time. Thank you guys for. Y'All thank you guys. Learn more about the work the Kershaw's doing at www dot kershaw's challenge dot com and read the America at its best issued the catalyst out at www dot bush center dot org slash catalyst. If you enjoyed today's episode. Make sure you're subscribed on apple podcasts. Spotify Google podcast and everywhere else. You get your podcast. We Review or Senate in note on twitter at at the Bush Center. Thanks for listening.