BOZICH | Cards' Duvall hopes to 'ring' in new season with more s - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Cards' Duvall hopes to 'ring' in new season with more success in San Francisco

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Former Louisville baseball player Adam Duvall was fitted for his World Series ring this week. Former Louisville baseball player Adam Duvall was fitted for his World Series ring this week.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Adam Duvall returned to Louisville from Venezuela on New Year's Eve.

Duvall has visited the batting cage at the University of Louisville. He's bantered with his former Cardinal teammates. He watched Rick Pitino's basketball team beat Clemson Wednesday and talked to the crowd during a second-half introduction.

All the usual things that Duvall does when he's home -- with one exception.

Duvall had to visit the jewelry store. The San Francisco Giants had one non-negotiable request for him before Duvall reports to spring training in Arizona next month:

Get measured for a ring.

Done.

Duvall hopes to be presented his size-10, 2014 World Series champion ring on April 13 when the Giants play their home opener against Colorado.

“It's surreal,” Duvall said. “Just something that you work for your whole life. Obviously, it's a stage that you hope to get to but it's pretty tough to do that. It's still an awesome feeling.”

For Duvall, 26, this is only the beginning. The Giants drafted him in the 10th round of the 2010 MLB Draft after he had finished his careers at U of L and Butler High School. (Duvall and former Cards Chris Dominguez and Justin Marks will speak at Louisville's Leadoff Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Jan. 23.)

He did not make his major-league debut until June 26, delivering a home run against Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds in his first game. He finished the season with 14 hits in 28 games if big-league games, but solidified his reputation as a power hitter by hitting 27 home runs and driving in 90 runs for the Giants' Triple-A team in the Pacific Coast League.

The Giants included Duvall on the active roster for their one-game Wild Card playoff against Pittsburgh, but he was inactive for the next three rounds of the playoffs, including the unforgettable seven-game World Series grind against Kansas City.

Nobody had a better seat to the greatness that Giants' pitcher Madison Bumgarner showed while starting two games that San Francisco won and saving Game Seven by pitching five shutout innings in relief. Bumgarner put his name with Gibson, Koufax, Ford, on a list of the greatest post-season pitchers of all-time.

Duvall had a front-row seat in the Giants' dugout for a performance that helped Bumgarner earn Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year and AP Male Athlete of the Year for 2014.

“The way he goes about his business and just how calm he was,” Duvall said. “It was almost like he was throwing in the bullpen.

“He never got out of control. He never let his emotions get the best of him. That's one thing as a teammate I saw the most from Bumgarner – his will to win and his aggressiveness. It was pretty special to watch.”

All the way down to the last out – a popout to Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval, with the Royals' leaving the tying run on third base.

“I jumped the (dugout) fence and I think we all ran toward Pablo and then we all ran toward Bumgarner and we all started celebrating,” Duvall said. “Kind of jumping around, acting like kids I guess. On the field you just try to remember it all, try to take it all in.”

One thing made the entire post-season more unforgettable. Somebody from Duvall's family attended every World Series game.

“Without my parents and my friends, I couldn't be where I'm at today,” he said. “Especially with AAU ball and the money that it takes (to play youth baseball). I wouldn't be here.”

Now Duvall wants more. The Giants lost Sandoval to Boston in free agency. Duvall wants to be in the mix to play third – or first or left field or any position where Giants manager Bruce Bochy decides to use him.

After riding in the Giants' World Series victory parade, Duvall rested in November and then reported to Venezuela for a month of winter baseball.

“I just want to compete for a spot, whether it's third or left or first,” Duvall said. “I just want to go in there and be ready. All I can ask for is an opportunity. If I get an opportunity, I just want to try to make the best of it and try to run with it.”

Wearing a size-10 World Series ring.

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