Clayton Kershaw knows how to throw an event.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers star-studded pitcher hosted a charity Ping-Pong tournament at Dodger Stadium in order to raise money for his foundation, appropriately called, Kershaw's Challenge.
Kershaw and his wife Ellen launched the charity organization in 2011 with a goal to encourage people to live out their dreams for the betterment of others. The organization helps in changing the lives of vulnerable and at-risk children in both local communities and abroad. In the past, Kershaw's Challenge has built homes and schools for children in Zambia as well as covered pediatric surgeries for children in the Dominican Republic.
The event took place on Thursday, an off day for the Dodgers before opening a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Actor and Comedian, Will Ferrell, co-hosted the event and wasted no time roasting the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
"This is just like the Catalina Wine Mixer. How lucky are we to have the best pitcher in baseball on the Dodgers?" Ferrell asked the crowd as he stood next to Kershaw on stage.
"He couldn't be here tonight, but we got this guy who's supposedly on the DL!"
Ferrell went on to tell the audience that all players playing ping-pong would need to have their certifications and that there were people there checking IDs (not true). He also told the over 500 people in attendance that 200 coyotes would be released into the stadium at 7:30PM.
"It's called our danger round," he deadpanned. "You will be coated in bacon grease and you're just going to have to fight off your opponent."
Acclaimed actress Susan Sarandon was also on stage as the co-founder of Spin Ping-Pong clubs and the honorary chair of the event. She talked about how the event will help inner-city children and the sport of Ping-Pong itself. She even gave NBC LA a line comparing Ping-Pong to Bull Durham, which she starred in opposite Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins in 1988.
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains," she said quoting the classic baseball film. "It's the church of Ping-Pong."
Many of Kershaw's teammates came out on their day off to support their teammate including Chase Utley, Ross Stripling, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Trayce Thompson, Corey Seager, Scott Kazmir, Justin Turner, Kenta Maeda, Howie Kendrick, Adrian Gonzalez, A.J. Ellis, Scott Van Slyke and others as they were partnered with various celebrities from stage, screen and sports.
Among the famous guests were Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family fame, Mario Lopez of Extra, Derek Hough of Dancing With the Stars, DJ Diplo, Austin Rivers of the LA Clippers, and Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings.
Dodgers' coaches Turner Ward (hitting coach), Dave Roberts (manager) and Rick Honeycutt (pitching coach) squared off against each other in the semifinals with Ward and partner, Richard Wright, advancing to the finals. Ward and Wright lost in the finals to the team of Singer and Nikimoto.
The event raised over $500,000 for the foundation thanks to generous donations by guests and sponsors such as Acura, SPIN, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Under Armour, Budweister, Security Benefit, Surfair, LA Magazine, Time Warner Cable, Papa Johns Pizza, and many more.