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Who needs Jimmy Kimmel? Royals' Danny Duffy OK as 'hometown hero'

While other members of the world champion Royals were getting feted on late-night TV, "anonymous" left-hander Danny Duffy got all the kudos he needed back home in Lompoc, California. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- You probably saw Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez on The Tonight Show or Drew Butera, Jeremy Guthrie and Mike Moustakas shooting Jimmy Kimmel with paint balls after winning the World Series.

But it’s not bells, whistles and trips to Disney World for everybody. How does a quasi-anonymous (yet still quite important) No. 5 starter and postseason middle reliever go about celebrating winning the World Series?

For Kansas City Royals lefty Danny Duffy, his celebration was much less publicized, but you could tell by the look in his eye and the tone of his voice that it was very important.

Duffy was honored by the flower-seed capital of the world (approximate population 42,000), his hometown of Lompoc, Calif. Lompoc, located in Santa Barbara County in the southwestern part of the state, is comprised largely of residents of Vandeberg Air Force Base.

“It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere,” said Duffy of a town that has produced former major leaguers Casey Candaele and Roy Howell. “But they said I was a hometown hero, which was pretty cool.”

Duffy went 7-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 30 appearances (24 starts) during the regular season. He moved to the bullpen for the playoffs and was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays. He pitched 2 1/3 innings in three games in the World Series and allowed one run. That’s more than any Lompocian had done before him.

Last Dec. 15, Duffy attended the city council meeting, at which topics included medical marijuana ordinances, the city’s creative crosswalk project, and appropriately, a town ball field project. Not quite as exciting as rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars, but Duffy didn’t mind.

“It was pretty interesting,” Duffy said. “I got to hear about the issues and the wants and needs of the town. I got to hear about things that people wanted, like bringing in businesses. I’ve seen the town grow and it’s cool to see people who wanted to change my town in a positive way.”

That level of celebrity was more than enough for Duffy. He had no desire to go hang out with Jimmy Fallon or Kimmel.

“Nope,” he said with a laugh. “I try to stay as anonymous as I can get.”