In tribute to Yordano Ventura, Royals’ Danny Duffy warms up to “I’ll Be Missing You”

Danny Duffy was on the mound for the Royals against the Angels on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Danny Duffy was on the mound for the Royals against the Angels on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals starter Danny Duffy kept an offseason promise on Friday night.

In the moments before his start against the Los Angeles Angels, his first home start at Kauffman Stadium, he warmed up to “I’ll Be Missing You,” a 1997 song by rapper Puff Daddy (now Diddy).

The selection is a tribute to former teammate Yordano Ventura, who died January 22nd in a car crash in the Dominican Republic. In the weeks after Ventura’s death, Duffy said he would choose the song as his warm-up music in 2017, at least for his first home game. The song, which also features Faith Evans, samples The Police hit “Every Breath You Take.” It was originally conceived as a tribute to rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who was murdered in 1997.

“That song really kind of talks to me when it comes to Ace,” Duffy said. “I miss him a lot. I'm doing my best to pitch the way he would.”

Duffy allowed just one run in seven innings in a 7-1 victory, the only issues coming during the first inning. He lowered his ERA to 1.80 after three starts. Afterward, he told The Star he may keep warming up to the song before home games.

“Leaning towards it,” Duffy said. “Initially, I just wanted to do it for my first start. But it felt good to be out there and thinking about it. Obviously, the first inning didn't go the way I had planned. But [I was] just thinking about him.”

In the past, Duffy has warmed up to music by the band Rebelution and country artist Coffey Anderson.

“Everybody in Kansas City cared about him as much as we did,” Duffy told The Star last week during an interview about dealing with the loss of Ventura. “It’s kind of up to us as leaders in the community to help the grieving on our end, and explain how great he was, and how awesome he was, and help the community as a whole.”

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy, speaking during a media availability session during FanFest on Jan. 27, 2017, discussed learning about Yordano Ventura's death on Sunday.

Perez snags Gold Glove, Silver Slugger Awards

Royals catcher Salvador Perez was presented his fourth Gold Glove and first Silver Slugger Award during a ceremony before Friday’s game. Perez has won four consecutive Gold Glove Awards starting with his first in 2013. He has also played in four straight All-Star Games.