Kershaw, Pujols play Wiffle ball with fans for charity
ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols struck out Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. A day after Kershaw got the better of Pujols and the Angels in the Dodgers' 6-4 win Tuesday night in Anaheim, Pujols was on the mound, whiffing Kershaw in the duo's charity Wiffle ball game.
"My Wiffle ball game's pretty bad, apparently," Kershaw said. "My offensive game is bad. Albert can hit anything, apparently, even a Wiffle ball."
Captained by the two superstars, teams of fans -- who were chosen from a pool of contest entrants who made donations to the Pujols Family Foundation and Kershaw's Challenge, with the help of Omaze.com -- faced off on the Angel Stadium outfield. Afterwards, both teams joined Pujols and Kershaw for lunch.
A couple of the contest winners on Pujols' team had flown in all the way from St. Louis, where the first baseman played the first decade of his career.
"We just want to have an opportunity to do the best that we can for the fans, as long as everybody has a good time," Pujols said.
Hitting with the game's trademark thin yellow plastic bat, Kershaw rolled over multiple ground balls. Pujols lined out several times, anointing himself "the rally killer." For the first batter of the game, Pujols pitched while Kershaw caught, one of the most unique batteries to ever grace Angel Stadium.
"Hey, this guy can hit," Pujols said, laughing after the game, despite his success against Kershaw on the mound. "Everybody knows in the National League that he can hit, as well as, obviously, we all know what he can do on the mound. We had a great time. Hopefully the participants had a great time."
The biggest hits of the day, by far, came from the contest winners, not the Major Leaguers. As Pujols' team plated its first run with Kershaw pitching, Pujols jokingly cheered, "Yes! He's hittable!"
The Pujols Family Foundation aims to promote awareness, provide hope and meet needs for individuals and families who live with Down syndrome. They work to improve the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished people in the Dominican Republic through education, medical relief and tangible goods, and they provide extraordinary experiences for children with disabilities and/or life-threatening illnesses.
"It's great to hit homers and win World Series, but at the end of the day, it's about making a difference off the field," Pujols said. "That's how we want to be remembered."
Kershaw's Challenge is committed to transforming the lives of children in America, Africa and the Dominican Republic by empowering others to give back in unique ways. They partner with similarly oriented organizations who serve the needs of at-risk and vulnerable youth.
"Just an awesome opportunity," Kershaw said. "It's really cool to see everyone come out and want to participate in this. Just being able to partner with Albert, and our foundations. What his foundation is doing, it's really cool for our foundation to be a part of as well."