BOZICH | Louisville (Adam Duvall) vs. Kentucky (Scott Downs) at - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Louisville (Adam Duvall) vs. Kentucky (Scott Downs) at the World Series

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Former U of L infielder Adam Duvall hit three home runs for the Giants this season. Former U of L infielder Adam Duvall hit three home runs for the Giants this season.
Former UK pitcher Scott Downs finally made it to the World Series in his World Series in his 13th big-league season. Former UK pitcher Scott Downs finally made it to the World Series in his World Series in his 13th big-league season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For Scott Downs the journey to the World Series began at Pleasure Ridge Park High School and then continued at the University of Kentucky.

It has taken Downs from the Cubs to the Expos to the Angels, then on to the Blue Jays, Braves and White Sox before he joined the Kansas City Royals in early July.

He's 38 and a World Series rookie, in what could be his 13th and final major-league season.

For Adam Duvall the trip has not required as many stops, but his career is only beginning. He is 26. Duvall is a product of Butler High School who played at the University of Louisville.

That is where the San Francisco Giants saw him in coach Dan McDonnell's infield and liked him enough to draft him in the 11th round of the free-agent draft only four years ago. Duvall scrambled his way past a string of guys with fancier draft credentials to arrive in the big leagues this summer, hitting three home runs in 73 at bats for the Giants.

There you have it: PRP/Kentucky (Scott Downs) vs. Butler/Louisville (Adam Duvall) in this World Series, which will be aired on WDRB, beginning Tuesday, when the Giants visit the Royals for Game One at 8 p.m.

"Adam has worked hard to get where he is," McDonnell said. "I can remember looking outside my office during the last off-season, and his Dad would be hitting him ground balls at our complex at 8 or 9 in the morning. That's the kind of dedication that gets you to the big leagues."

"I'll be in the dugout," Duvall said in a text message. "I'm excited."

Understand this: It will require a serious injury to a teammate for either guy to play.

Both contributed down the stretch of the pennant race, but neither Downs nor Duvall is listed on the 25-man active roster. (Chris Dominguez, another former U of L player, is also inactive for San Francisco. He departed for the Venezuelan League last weekend.) So they can only be added to the active team if another player is disabled, an unlikely development.

But Downs has been a fixture in the Royals' dugout for the last three weeks, encouraging teammates and engaging the home crowd from his perch in the dugout.

And why shouldn't he? In his prime, Downs was one of the finest left-handed relief pitchers in the American League, a guy the Angels or Blue Jays could count on to silence the toughest left-handed hitters or shut down the best offenses for a complete inning.

From 2007 through 2012, Downs's earned run average was never higher than 3.15 and he allowed less than one hit per inning pitched. His effectiveness started to decline last season but the Chicago White Sox signed him to a two-year, $8 million contract last winter.

It didn't work in Chicago. Downs was released on July 3. But the Royals waited only three days before adding Downs to their bullpen, a bullpen that is considered the best in the major leagues.

As I said earlier, Duvall is just getting started. He did not make his major-league debut until June 26 – and he homered in the seventh inning of his first game.

His three home runs came on June 26 (off Mike Leake of the Reds); July 21 (the Phillies' Cliff Lee) and Sept. 28 (Tim Stauffer of the Pirates).

It was not surprising. Duvall led the Class AAA Pacific League in home runs for most of the summer. He hit 27 – with 90 runs batted in. He's got a live bat and can play in multiple spots across the infield.

Duvall has been one of those guys that Giants' manager Bruce Bochy has rotated through his lineup to keep San Francisco charging despite the injuries his team endured this summer. Duvall was active for San Francisco's Wild Card game at Pittsburgh, but like Downs, he's been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the rest of the month.

"“Adam learned the value of being a versatile player and putting the extra work in," McDonnell said. "It's like our players and younger players at our camps” Don't limit yourself to one spot. Make yourself valuable by playing as many positions as you can."

This week Adam Duvall and Scott Downs are playing the position of teammates in opposite dugouts at the World Series.

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