'I'm meeting you for him': Kershaw shares touching moment post-ASG

July 20th, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- Ten-year-old Blake Grice had his right hand raised for about two minutes, waiting patiently to hear his name called inside the Dodgers’ interview room.

After answering about a dozen questions about his first career All-Star Game start on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw didn’t see Blake with his hand raised and thought he was finished answering questions. But after someone pointed Blake out to Kershaw, the left-hander sat back down.

“Oh, dude, sorry,” Kershaw said as he leaned over. “Whatcha got?”

Blake fought through his nerves and walked over to Kershaw. He didn’t have a question. Instead, he wanted to tell Kershaw about the connection the pitcher has to the Grice family. The soon-to-be 11-year-old told Kershaw about his grandfather, Graham, who died from brain cancer more than seven years ago.

Before his grandfather passed, however, he made a list with his two grandchildren, detailing everything they were going to do once he beat cancer for the fifth time. The list included visiting the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, meeting longtime voice of the Dodgers and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, among other things.

It also included meeting Kershaw. But a week after making the list, Graham passed away, never getting a chance to experience those moments. Since then, Blake and his family have tried to experience all those things.

On Tuesday, Blake got a chance to be in the same room as Kershaw, dedicating the moment to his grandfather.

“My grandpa loved you,” Blake told Kershaw. “He watched the 1988 [World] Series and he wanted to meet you and Vin Scully one day. So this moment is important to me because I’m meeting you for him.”

Before he finished telling Kershaw the story, Blake began to cry. Kershaw then popped out of his chair and walked over to console Blake with a hug.

“Come here, dude, great to meet you,” Kershaw said. “Thanks for telling me. That took a lot of courage to tell me that. Great to meet you. Your granddad sounded like an awesome guy. Thanks for coming up.”

Clayton Kershaw and Blake Grice, 10, following the pitcher's news conference after his All-Star Game outing. (Juan Toribio/MLB.com)

“It’s really hard for me because he’s not here to do that and be with us when we just met Kershaw,” said Blake. “This is a special moment for me.”

Blake and his family live in Denver, but came to Los Angeles for the All-Star Game. While most kids dream of being professional baseball players, Blake aspires to be a media member one day. He has started his own YouTube page over the last two years in order to get some practice.

With the All-Star Game approaching, Blake decided to show off some more of his courage, emailing Major League Baseball’s chief communications officer Pat Courtney, asking if there was a way to get credentialed. Courtney then directed him to vice president of communications John Blundell, who made it happen.

“He’s here just doing his thing and trying to grow and cover baseball,” said Blake’s father, Barrie. “He just loves people. It’s funny because you see a lot of people asking for autographs and he doesn’t care about any of that. He’s an incredible young man.”