Posted on: November 19, 2011 12:36 pm

Lions' QB Stafford happy for friend Kershaw

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Although there are plenty of stories written about Cy Young Award winners, rarely are their Little League catchers tracked down and asked about their former ace pitcher. Of course, few Cy Young Award winners have a future NFL starting quarterback as their old catcher.

"It's awesome to have played with a guy growing up and to watch him have that much success," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford told the Detroit Free Press on Friday when asked about his old batterymate, Clayton Kershaw. "I haven't been able to go out and see him. I'd love to. That would be a ton of fun to be able to go out there and see him and watch him pitch. I caught him a bunch of times and played shortstop behind him a bunch of times."

The two grew up in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park, firstling teaming up on the soccer field in second grade and playing soccer, baseball, basketball and football together growing up. Kershaw was also Stafford's center their freshman year at Highland Park High School.

Stafford rented Kershaw a suite at Cowboys Stadium last month when the Lions played in Dallas, but told the Free Press he wouldn't demand a suite at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers put together this video of the two last year:

Kershaw has said Stafford had the better arm when the two were growing up -- and it'd still be quite the competition to see who could fling a ball (any kind) further.

"We always worked well together playing baseball," Kershaw told the Athens Banner-Herald in 2008. "He was a lot better baseball player than I was a football player. He coulda gone to college to play that, no doubt. He always knew what I wanted to throw and he was really good back there, really smart."

However, Stafford quit playing baseball after his sophomore year and Kershaw quit football after his freshman season. With Stafford signing a six-year deal worth $41.7 million after being the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and Kershaw winning the Cy Young at 23, they two probably made the correct decisions.

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