During the MLB’s All-Star Game press conference on Tuesday night, a young fan got the chance to meet Clayton Kershaw.
The 10-year-old boy, Blake Grice, intentionally sought after the L.A. Dodgers pitcher and nine-time All Star on behalf of his late grandfather, Graham George Grice’s, bucket list which included meeting Kershaw.
Shortly after making the list while in treatment, Graham sadly passed away in December 2015 after a 30-year battle with brain cancer. His grandson has since vowed to complete the list in Graham’s honour so Blake travelled alongside his father and older brother from Denver to Los Angeles for the 92nd annual MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
Throughout the entire press conference, Blake patiently waited before mustering up the courage to approach Kershaw to tell him a “quick story” about his grandpa.
“So my grandpa loved you,” the young boy told Kershaw. “He watched the 1998 World Series and he wanted to meet you and Vin Scully [Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster] one day. So this moment is important to me because I’m meeting you for him.”
Blake began to cry as he told Kershaw how his grandfather is no longer with us.
“Come here, dude,” Kershaw said, gesturing towards a hug. “It’s great to meet you. That took a lot of courage to tell me that. Your grandad sounded like an awesome guy. Thanks for coming up.”
Clayton Kershaw thought his press conference was over when he was surprised by a 10-year-old.
The child’s grandfather made a bucket list. On that list: meet Clayton Kershaw. That never happened. He died of cancer. But today Blake Grice met Kershaw. He feels his pappy with him. pic.twitter.com/K5KGcd5ozO
— Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) July 20, 2022
The two took a photo together to commemorate the special moment.
L.A. Times writer Steve Saldivar shared a video of the sweet exchange, seen in the clip above, noting that Blake felt as though his “pappy” was there with him during the emotional meeting.
Later, Blake, an inspiring member of sports media, spoke with NBC LA, and said that although it was “really hard” to meet Kershaw without his grandfather, “It felt really good to accomplish something my pappy wanted.”