Dodgers Clayton Kershaw has touching moment with young fan who lost grandfather to brain cancer – NBC Los Angeles
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw thought he was done answering questions from the media after starting his first career MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Then a 10-year-old boy walked to the front of the podium.
Blake Grice, of Denver, Colorado, waited patiently to ask Kershaw a question for the duration of the press conference. Harnessing courage, he spoke to the nine-time All Star.
Blake overcame his nervousness and spoke to Kershaw in front of a crowded room of reporters and photographers. He didn’t have a question, he just wanted to say something to Kershaw.
“I want to quickly tell you a story,” Blake began. “My grandpa loved you. He watched the 1988 World Series. He wanted to meet you and Vin Scully one day. So this moment is important to me, because I’m meeting you for him. He was from Redondo Beach and a few days ago he died of brain cancer.”
Blake started crying and Kershaw got up from his seat behind the podium and gave the 10-year-old a hug.
“Come here, man,” Kershaw said. “It’s great to meet you. It took a lot of courage to tell me that. Nice to meet you. Your grandpa sounded like a great guy. Thanks for coming.”
NBC LA Sportswriter Michael J. Duarte captured the moment on video:
Blake’s grandfather was Graham George Grice. He passed away in December 2014 after a 30-year battle with brain cancer. He had won the battle against the insidious disease many times before, and after his fifth battle, he made a list of everything he wanted to do. The list included trips to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon, as well as meeting Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully and his favorite player, Clayton Kershaw.
Unfortunately, Graham didn’t get a chance to cross those moments off his to-do list. Instead, young Blake vowed to experience them for himself.
Thanks to MLB, Blake, his father, Barrie, and his older brother with autism traveled from Denver to Los Angeles for the 92nd annual MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
After an incredible weekend of All Star events, Blake finally had the chance to meet Kershaw on Tuesday.
“It’s really hard for me because he’s not here to do that and be with us when we just met Kershaw,” Blake said. “It’s a special moment for me. It was really good to accomplish something that my Grandpa wanted. We always try to accomplish everything on his to-do list. I just met Kershaw, so it’s a thing checked.”
Blake spoke exclusively with NBC LA and said his dream was to one day be a member of the sports media and that he had his own YouTube channel for training.
Blake’s father, Barrie, said when his son was born, he almost didn’t survive. He was in an incubator and had to stay in the hospital’s NICU ward for over a month after he was born before he could finally go home to his family. Barrie called his son a “miracle” and that it would be another miracle if he could meet Vin Scully.
Good, NBC LA contacted Scully and informed his family of the story of Blake and his grandfather. Hopefully, if he feels up to it, a meeting will be held soon and young Blake can check off another time on his grandfather’s to-do list.
Blake said he was “out to change the world for the better,” and there’s no doubt he does now.