The Kansas City Royals Caravan made its annual trip to Springdale Monday, with two very familiar faces; Will Smith and Danny Duffy.
It was reported as the largest crowd for the caravan and took place at the Holiday Inn. Hundreds of people showed up to see the players they used to cheer on. Smith was the winning pitcher of the Texas League Championship in 2011. He also led the league in wins that season.
“It’s just nice to see fans and see familiar faces again,” said Will Smith. “We’re trying to give back to the fans that have supported us when we played here. It’s nice to see all those guys.”
Smith made his Major League debut with the Royals on May 23 and has started in 16 games since. The southpaw posted a 6-8 record with a 5.32 ERA and 111 hits allowed in 89.2 innings of work
Duffy, also a pitcher, spent the 2010 season with the Naturals before moving up in 2011. He says he uses a lot of what he learned with the Naturals and applies it today in the Big Leagues.
“Executing my curve ball, Larry Carter really helped me out with that,” said Danny Duffy. “LC has his way. I picked up a heck of a lot from that year and I also picked up that the core of guys that was on the team that year was really good. So, hopefully that translates into the Big Leagues.”
Duffy made his Major League debut for the Royals on May 18, 2011, posted a 4-8 record and 5.64 ERA in 20 appearances in his inaugural season.
The Naturals’ season starts April 4. The Royals Caravan has been making its way around Arkansas and Missouri, throughout the Royals organization.