Posted: Dec 12, 2012 2:33 PM by Bill Halter
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 11:07 AM
Despite being in the process of trying to recover from a major surgery that threatens his professional livelihood, Danny Duffy still went out of his way to give back to his community last Friday.
The Cabrillo High School graduate set up a basketball game between his alma mater and his Mom's old school, Dos Pueblos. Duffy paid for the game to happen at the Thunder Dome in Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos won 55-53. The 23 year old paid for the venue, travel, pregame meals for both teams and everything that was needed to make the game happen. He even brought in Christian Country singing star Coffey Anderson to take care of the National Anthem. Anderson is a friend of Duffy's, he appeared on season two of American Idol and season six of Nashville Star.
"I always wondered why growing up the private schools would get this kind of stuff and I always dreamed about it. So I figured if I do this maybe a kid coming up will get the same idea down the road and we can just create a cycle of kindness" said Duffy.
The Kansas City Royals starting pitcher is recovering from Tommy John surgery after injuring his elbow during a start in May.
"I knew my elbow was sore but on one pitch I threw a fastball at 97 and then my next fastball was 85 so I knew it happened, my whole hand went numb" said Duffy.
Tommy John surgery is a procedure in which a tendon is taken from the hip to replace an elbow ligament. He's been rehabbing in Santa Barbara with the goal of returning to the Royals by May. Duffy has an everything happens for a reason approach to life and says the injury couldn't have happened at a better time because he's young and has already established himself at the Major League level.
"If it would have happened when I was in the Minor League's who's to say they would have given me a second chance."
Duffy only started six games last year before the injury, posting a 3.90 earned run average. He made 20 starts as a 22 year old rookie. He says the city of Lompoc and Cabrillo High School are a big part of his life.
"The first time I was in the Cabrillo coaches office I was two weeks old. I bleed black and gold, I always will. I think it's the duty of people who leave their town to always give back and always leave it better than you came" said Duffy who owns a house in Lompoc.
Duffy paid for the Cabrillo baseball team to play at the Minor League stadium in Lake Elsinore last spring and plans to do something similar this season for the team. He has no doubts he'll be back in the Royals starting rotation this season.
"I want to bring a ring to Kansas City, I want to bring one back to Lompoc. We've got a long way to go, it's a long path but you take it day by day and that's how you dominate it."
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