Danny Duffy and I have so much in common. We’re basically the same person.
When Duffy was a kid, he loved watching the Weather Channel. He was fascinated by this El Niño thing and recorded daily fluctuations in a spiral notebook. He considered himself a nerd.
I spent my summers laying on my front lawn, staring at the clouds drifting by. When a severe thunderstorm warning was issued, I would run to the window instead of the basement. I, too, watched the Weather Channel more than I’d prefer to admit.
But instead of going to college for meteorology and then willfully punishing himself with three years of graduate school, Duffy decided to play baseball and make millions of dollars as the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Alas, that is where our paths diverged.
The way Rustin Dodd reports it at the Kansas City Star, Duffy had all the makings for a meteorologist. If there’s something we have in common, it’s a deep curiosity in and passion for the weather from a very early age.
Even though he is decidedly not in the weather game, he’s still enamored with the science, Dodd writes:
These days, Duffy’s fascination with weather has morphed into a full-blown interest in the subject of climate change. He worries about drought and its impact on his home state. He can recite — quite accurately, in fact — the water levels of Lake Nacimiento, located 115 miles north of Lompoc. On a February morning at spring training, he spent 20 minutes reading up on the declining sea ice levels in Antarctica.
. . . “That whole sea ice thing in Antarctica is no joke,” Duffy says. “I’m not going to sit here and say I’m like some ‘Sierra Club’ kind of guy. But I definitely at least wonder where the Earth is going to be in 10 to 20 years now.”
So I guess we need to add Duffy to our running tally of “weather jocks” (I didn’t come up with that moniker, I swear), which includes Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and Mike Trout. And actually, Durant loves the weather so much he worked with Nike to design a line of weather-related clothing, including these very awesome, very expensive basketball shoes with radar imagery printed on the leather.
I don’t know whether Duffy has ever thought about designing a weather-related baseball glove, but if he did, I’d consider buying one. That’s another thing we have in common — a love of baseball.