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Dads, brothers join KC for 'celebration' of family

@SarahWexler32
May 18, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Royals’ annual family trip affords players a rare in-season opportunity to spend time with their dads and brothers. Danny Duffy and his father, Dan, cherish the occasion. “Spending these three days is top notch,” the elder Duffy said. “It’s really cool.” The tradition originally began as a

ANAHEIM -- The Royals’ annual family trip affords players a rare in-season opportunity to spend time with their dads and brothers. Danny Duffy and his father, Dan, cherish the occasion.

“Spending these three days is top notch,” the elder Duffy said. “It’s really cool.”

The tradition originally began as a Father’s Day trip, but it has since expanded to include brothers as well. Twenty-four family members of Royals players and coaching staff members made this year’s trip, which will take participants to St. Louis when the Angel Stadium series concludes. Family members travel with the team, spend time in the clubhouse and dugout and take on-field batting practice.

Duffy Sr., along for the Southern California leg of the trip, is taking part for the third time in the last five years. A resident of Santa Barbara County, he made the drive south to Anaheim, and he knew exactly what he was looking forward to the most.

“Seeing [my son]. Hanging out with him,” he said.

The younger Duffy was equally grateful to have his father taking part.

“It’s crazy, man. It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “What the Royals organization does with this is really a pretty cool deal. We’re fortunate to have who we have leading this organization and giving us this opportunity. It’s important to get time with your family in any facet, and to be able to do it at your job is pretty dope.”

While the bonding time is, of course, the most important thing, the allure of the on-field batting practice is hard to resist.

“Love the batting practice,” said Duffy Sr. “That’s a good time, that’s a lot of fun. Letting ‘em know I can still swing a little bit, just as long as [my son’s] not throwing.”

For Royals manager Ned Yost, the family trip is the organization’s way of giving back to those who were most crucial in getting his players to where they are today.

“It’s a way to celebrate what our fathers have done for these kids,” said Yost. “I used to think that it was about letting the dads come on the trip so that they can see what big league life was about for their sons, [but] it became apparent for me that this trip’s about celebration of what the dads have done to get the sons here.

“They’ve been their No. 1 supporter, their No. 1 teacher, their No. 1 drive to the ballpark and rooter, and everything. So for their dads to come here and experience their sons’ success to this point is just fantastic.”

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.