For Pete's Sake

Danny Duffy buys Yordano Ventura bobblehead on eBay for Ventura’s mother

Yordano Ventura (left) and Danny Duffy during spring training in 2014.
Yordano Ventura (left) and Danny Duffy during spring training in 2014. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The bobblehead was snatched up quickly on eBay.

Days after Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic, a bobblehead of the late Royals pitcher sold for $100 hours just after it went on sale.

The seller, who is from Kansas City, then got a big surprise. The address for the buyer was Kauffman Stadium, and it was intended for Royals left-hander Danny Duffy.

That story made the rounds on social media on Saturday, and here’s the kicker: Duffy wanted the bobblehead to send to Ventura’s mother in the Dominican.

“I didn’t want that to get out,” Duffy said Saturday afternoon at Royals FanFest. “It was just kind of a little thing I was trying to do on the side. Collect over the year and when the time was right just send down a care package and let her know I was thinking of her.”

When the seller learned it was Duffy, he waived the $100 price tag. The only downside: when the story was shared in a series of tweets, it included Duffy’s eBay contact.

“My eBay inbox is absolutely on fire, but that’s OK,” Duffy said. “I understand what he was trying to do and I appreciate what he was trying to do. The gesture of not making me pay for it was pretty cool. I’m going to send him some cleats in exchange.”

That’s a pretty good deal for the seller, wouldn’t you say?

As the story got out, Duffy said he’s heard from other fans who want to add to his collection. Duffy had purchased another of the Ventura bobbleheads, which were given away in 2015, and the seller gave it to Duffy for free. Someone else promised a one-of-a-kind plate of a Ventura rookie baseball card. Another gave Duffy a button with Ventura’s face on it.

So what is Duffy looking for?

“Anything,” he said. “Anything that has his name on it. Anything that has his face on it. I got a banner or two from the street signs, amongst other things. …

“It’s pretty casual. Anything I can see. Periodically, I won’t be able to sleep and I’ll eBay at 2 a.m. and if I come across something that’s new, I’ll do it.”

Duffy stressed that this collection isn’t about him. It’s about Ventura’s mother Marisol, who lost her son on Sunday at the way-too-early age of 25.

“I just figured the more stuff she has, the easier it might be to remember the good times,” Duffy said. “I know my mom would want the same.

“I know my teammates would do the same.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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