HP Honors Ex-Standouts Kershaw, Young

Clayton Kershaw’s three Cy Young Awards and reputation as one of the most feared pitchers of baseball’s modern era might never have happened without the foundation he gained at Highland Park High School.

The same holds true for Chris Young, who still carries some of the same values instilled while playing for the Scots during his tenure as general manager of the Texas Rangers, leading the organization to its first World Series title in 2023.

Both HP legends conveyed those sentiments during a ceremony on Wednesday at SMU’s Armstrong Fieldhouse. The occasion recognized both pitchers for the upcoming retirement of their jersey numbers at Scotland Yard this spring — Kershaw’s No. 23 and Young’s No. 25 — and doubled as a fundraiser for the school’s baseball program, with an eye toward overdue facility upgrades.

“To get your number retired from Highland Park High School is pretty special,” Kershaw said. “It’s a tremendous honor.”

The lefthander has pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 16 seasons, winning the National League MVP award in 2014 and a World Series in 2020. But this week, he reminisced about growing up in the Park Cities, where he met his wife, Ellen, and still resides during the offseason with their four children.

“The biggest thing my mom ever did was keep me in this school system. I will forever be thankful for that because of the lasting relationships and the community,” Kershaw said. “Now I want my kids to be a part of it.”

Kershaw, 35, who is currently a free agent, will miss much of the upcoming season while recuperating from recent shoulder surgery.

Young retired in 2017 after pitching for parts of 13 seasons with five MLB teams, becoming a World Series champion with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Eight years later, he earned his second ring in just his third year as a front-office executive with the Rangers.

“The Rangers this year embodied a lot of the values and characteristics that I got to experience in high school and held true throughout my playing career,” Young said. “I have so many memories with teammates and friends.”

Young was a standout on HP’s Class 4A state championship team in 1998 and later was a two-sport athlete at Princeton University. He still lives in the Park Cities, and all three of his children attend HPISD schools.

“At the time, I didn’t realize how much this community would shape my life,” Young said. “Baseball has taken us a lot of different places, but there’s no place like Highland Park.”

The ceremony, which was organized by a group of HP baseball alumni, included a catered dinner and auction for more than 700 attendees. WFAA-TV meteorologist Pete Delkus was the emcee.

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