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Editor's note, January 27, 2015:Just a small update of congratulations: The Kershaws welcomed their first child, Cali Ann, on January 23. The next day, Dad was in New York City to accept the 2014 National League Cy Young Award (his third Cy Young) and the Most Valuable Player award. He teared up during his eight-minute speech when thanking his wife, Ellen.
This post was first published in November 2014.
Baseball's richest pitcher and his wife -- whose backstory surely qualifies them as one of the sweetest couples in sports -- finally have a home base in Los Angeles.
Clayton Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, purchased a house in the Valley for $4 million, scarcely 10 miles from Dodger Stadium. The high school sweethearts (dating back to ninth grade!) are expecting their first child, a daughter, in January.
Early this year, the 26-year-old wunderkind signed a seven-year contract with the L.A. Dodgers for nearly a quarter-billion dollars.
Their Studio City home is brand-new and posh but nowhere near extravagant, on a street that Variety (which first broke the news) describes as "sleepy but increasingly high-end." A quick Internet tour reveals that the area is full of big homes recently built on the lots of smaller torn-down houses, just as Kershaw's was. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)
It has a distinctly "Leave It to Beaver" or "Ozzie and Harriet" feel, down to its white picket fence. The generous size of the lot (a third of an acre, big by L.A. standards) creates a kind of oasis. All in all, it seems nicely suited to the future they envisioned in "Arise," a book they wrote together (subtitled "Live Out Your Faith and Your Dreams on Whatever Field You Find Yourself From the Major Leagues to Africa"):
"We agree on several things that we want to incorporate into our new family. Sunday night dinners are always important, and our home will feature a revolving door of people coming and going. Dogs are to be treated like humans, and card games are to be taken very seriously."
And while we wouldn't go so far as to call the neighborhood's location idyllic -- it's up against the concrete Los Angeles "River" -- it seems pleasantly suburban, the kind of place that kids might feel safe riding their bicycles. We imagine that would have special appeal to Kershaw, an only child who wrote in "Arise":
"Though I lived with just my mom, I felt like I had 10 different homes. ... My buddies became my brothers. They teased me, and they laughed at me and with me. We did life together. Remember that great movie 'The Sandlot,' about the neighborhood group of boys playing summer baseball together? That’s how my life felt growing up. The community was our playground, and we biked the streets of our personal kingdom."
The young couple have a long history of valuing children and community. They spend off-season vacation time in Zambia: Clayton began joining Ellen for annual trips in 2010, where they join hands-on projects to help impoverished children, such as building orphanages. Their passion is Kershaw's Challenge, a children's charity that Ellen inspired Clayton to start, which operates not only in Zambia but in Los Angeles and the Kershaws' hometown, Dallas.
Also from Yahoo Homes:
• Aging couple must sell 'personal Eden,' a treehouse in paradise
• Ever-quotable Jennifer Lawrence kids that her new house is the 'neighborhood whore'
• Robin Williams' extraordinary Villa of Smiles is back on the market
• Iggy Azalea and Nick Young buy Selena Gomez's house in the Valley
• Lady Gaga buys mansion with secret underground 'Batcave'