Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong
Inside Dodger Stadium on Aug. 11, Will Ferrell addressed the crowd at Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 Purpose celebrity tournament.
As the evening’s host, Ferrell said he would be checking all players for their certified ping-pong credentials (not true); that no dogs were allowed (did he mean in the tournament?); and that 200 coyotes would be released into the stadium at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s called our danger round,” Ferrell deadpanned. “You will be coated in bacon grease and you’re just going to have to fight off your opponent.”
Click here to read the rest of my story for the Los Angeles Times with the 7 things you missed, i.e., “7 highlights” from Clayton Kershaw’s PingPong4Purpose celebrity tournament.
For more pictures and 6 more highlights, just scroll down the page.
1 – “How lucky are we to have the best pitcher in baseball on the Dodgers?” said Will Ferrell from onstage, glancing over at Clayton Kershaw.
He then quipped, “He couldn’t be here tonight. So we got this guy who’s supposedly on the DL.”
2 – In a bit of good news for the weight-conscious, Spin co-founder Susan Sarandon told me in a private interview: “You have to be very strong to play ping pong well, and if you play for 20 minutes you sweat. It’s good exercise.”
“It’s the kind of sport that you can play in your 90s as the learning curve is very, very fast,” Sarandon added. “But then you have to get 5 different kinds of serves and it becomes like chess because you have to think ahead and it’s very very fast.”
Proving that ping pong isn’t something learned over a lifetime, Sarandon also said, “I never played ping pong as a child. I’m one of those people who never went to camp.”
4 – We also discovered why the ace pitcher and his wife chose ping pong as a way to raise funds.
“My buddies in high school had a table and I just played a lot. It was fun; I’m an OK player; and I can hold my own,” he said. But the most important reason? “We get good participation and that’s what we’re going for.”
5 – The ping pong theme aside, Ellen Kershaw – expecting a baby boy in November – talked more about the reasons for holding the benefit.
“Clayton’s baseball career is so fleeting. It’s a chapter in our lives,” she said. “If we can make the most of our platform while we have it, and affect the lives of as many kids as we can, we’ve done our job well.”
“Even when Clayton’s on the DL, there’s a bigger job to do and we’re trying to do that tonight,” she continued. “He has a herniated disk, so he’s not getting to play ping pong tonight or play with the team, but he’s doing his job now being a dad, a husband and a philanthropist.”
6 – And the best part: Organizers reported $500,000 in proceeds from the silent auction, merchandise and ticket sales. Prices ranged to $3,000 for adults and $1,000 for children;
Top photo: From left, event host Will Ferrell, Clayton Kershaw, Susan Sarandon and Ellen Kershaw at the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, Ellen Olivier)
Second photo: From left, Record producer Diplo, Dodgers Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick, and LA Clipper Austin Rivers at the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, Dodger Vision)
Third photo: From left, Adrian Gonzalez and Mario Lopez compete in the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, Dodger Vision)
Fourth photo: From left, Clayton Kershaw and record producer Tank at the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, Dodger Vision)
Fifth photo: Attorney Robert Shapiro competing in the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, Dodger Vision)
Sixth photo: From left, event host Will Ferrell, honoree Dennis Gilbert and Clayton Kershaw onstage at the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, John SooHoo)
Seventh photo: Trayce Thompson and Rocco at the Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong 4 Purpose tournament at Dodger Stadium (photo, John SooHoo)
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Clayton Kershaw Ping Pong
Published Aug. 13, 2016 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA