Nearly three minutes into a postgame interview Tuesday evening, Danny Duffy paused. He had just completed 5 2/3 innings in the Royals’ 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He had allowed just two runs in his first start since May 28. But as he finished answering questions about his day, he wished to dedicate the performance to a kid named Noah Scott, a teenager from his hometown of Lompoc, Calif.
Scott died Friday at the age of 15 following a battle with leukemia. Duffy said he wanted to honor Scott’s memory and pay tribute to his family.
“I just want to say: There was this kid back in Lompoc who lost his life last week,” Duffy said. “Noah Scott … I just wanted to dedicate this performance to him. He lost a battle with leukemia and he fought his butt off, and that’s all for his family right there.”
The city of Lompoc rallied around Scott while he battled the illness. Duffy felt a connection. Scott’s father was a corporal in the Lompoc Police Department. Duffy’s parents were in law enforcement in California while he was growing up.
Scott loved baseball and in the final months of his life, he followed the team at Cabrillo High School, Duffy’s alma mater.
“He didn’t lose the fight,” Duffy said. “He did it. He battled his butt off. He’s a good kid. He was in his teens. He was out there during the middle of his treatment; he was watching Cabrillo games, my high school. He just loved baseball. A very inspirational kid.
“It’s a bummer that cancer continues to do what it’s doing to everyone, let alone children,” Duffy continued. “But like I said, I just wanted to dedicate my performance to him and his family.”