• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw returns from humanitarian trip to Africa

Opposing batters often fear seeing Dodger Clayton Kershaw, but in Africa the kids light up.

January 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw has an impressive resume, including national League Cy Young award winner. Now the 23-year-old southpaw can add author and humanitarian to his list of accomplishments.

Opposing batters often fear seeing Dodger Clayton Kershaw, but in Africa the kids light up.

"Kids are just drawn to him, I don't know if it's because of his size or because he can throw like two of them up in the air at the same time, but he was just like a human jungle gym over there," said Ellen Kershaw, Clayton's wife.

"They don't have the attention, you know, that kids need and so if they see anybody that's an adult figure giving them the time of day, they're the happiest people in the world and they don't want to let go.," said Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw and wife Ellen recently returned from their second trip to Zambia, partnering with a church group and the non-profit organization Arise Africa International. The Kershaws have built a school and just broke ground on a new orphanage.

"I was hesitant about it at first but I got over there and just really saw the need and felt compassion for these kids and just wanted to help out," said Kershaw.

And now Clayton and Ellen Kershaw have released a book titled "Arise." It's about early life and baseball, but most importantly to them it's about their faith and their passion for helping children in Zambia.

"If it can encourage young people to make a difference wherever they are, whether it's in high school or college or whatever their purpose may be, then we think that's completely worth it to put ourselves out there like that," said Ellen.

"These kids just have their basic needs met," said Clayton. "They're the happiest, most joyful people in the world and you kind of come back over here to America and you see everybody just trying to gain and gain and gain more things, just more everything and they're still not happy."

This weekend Clayton Kershaw will be in New York City for the official presentation of his Cy Young Award. Perhaps just as meaningful though has been his big pitch to help needy children more than 10,000 miles away.