About four hours before the first pitch of Friday’s Royals-Indians game, pitcher Danny Duffy was booting a soccer ball around Kauffman Stadium’s immaculately manicured outfield. The ball had a Sporting KC logo and Duffy was wearing a No. 8 Graham Zusi shirt.
Duffy said he’s never met Zusi, the Sporting KC midfielder who played for the U.S. men’s national team at the World Cup in Brazil. Duffy bought the shirt and ball at a local store and tested his leg strength on a steamy afternoon.
“Just went out there to see how far I could kick one,” Duffy said. “Couldn’t kick it very far. Didn’t want to throw my back out.”