Remember When

Editor’s Note: Through Tuesday, former Louisville Cardinal Adam Duvall was tied for third in home runs in Major League Baseball with 17 of them for Cincinnati. The following, with some insight into Duvall’s personality, is a repost from March 22, 2010:

Remember the first University of Louisville game you attended? Probably not. But Cole Porter Shirley, a one-and-a-half year old, won’t soon forget his first Cardinal baseball game.

The son of Mike and Melissa Shirley of Louisville is also the second cousin of Adam Duvall, the Cards’ hard-hitting shortstop. He was on hand for the opening game of the U of L-Ball State series last Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium. Also wearing his first U of L tee-shirt by the way.

After the game, the youngster tried out Adam’s equipment, his hat, bat and glove and also threw grounders to his cousin.

“Adam was very patient, as he has always been,” says Cole’s mom, “and made Cole feel like he was practically a Cardinal himself. It’s a quality I believe has helped Adam get as far as he has. Right before our goodbyes, Adam put his batting helmet on Cole.”

Cole may not remember the event but he will always have a memento of the occasion, an autographed baseball signed by members of the U of L baseball team.

What a day for everybody involved, and what a fantastic start for a young Cardinal fan. Oh, yeah, U of L won the game, 11-7.

Card Crunching: Johnny U statue, Shoni slump, Adam Duvall update

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will undergo expansion in the near future. No doubt about that with the growing demand for University of Louisville football tickets. The ticket office is getting ready to announce still another all-time record for season ticket sales.Unitas

Tom Jurich reportedly has three sets of stadium schematics and probably has his development staff already at work on filling the suites to be added at the north end of the stadium.

If one can assume anything about the expansion, it is that the football team will have a real tunnel this time around. No more of those rubberized entry ways for an football program with national title aspirations.

So what happens with the Johnny Unitas statue when that part of the stadium has to be reconfigured? It’s a serious question, given Johnny U’s. Many players traditionally tap the statue for luck their way to the playing field.

Why not place the Johnny U at the main entrance to PJCS, at the edge of the Green Lot. The placement there would greatly enhance the entrance to the stadium while honoring an all-time UofL great and saluting his contributions to the game of football. While an impressive piece of work, the statue is dwarfed by all of the other distractions inside the stadium, not to mention being partially obscured by the tunnel during games.

Let’s face it. The exterior of the stadium, including the entrance, is pretty bland at present. The placement there would give Johnny U a whole new dimension, recognizing UofL’s growing football tradition. Fans, along with the football players, would be able to touch the statue for luck, upon entering the stadium after Card March every game.

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Former Cardinal Shoni Schimmel has cooled off significantly since scoring 29 points and winning Most Valuable Player honors in the WNBA All-Star game in mid-July.

Since that game Shoni has scored 31 points in six games for the Atlanta Dream, failing to score in games against Chicago and Connecticut, three against Tulsa, and four against Washington. Her high of 17 points came against Asia Taylor’s Minnesota team, the next game after the all-star event.

“The rigorous schedule often catches up with rookies about this time of season,” said Brad Gust, media relations manager. “She’s okay and will be fine when she gets her second wind.”

Shoni is averaging 6.7 points in 27 games. The Dream, with a 17-10 recored, is leading the East Division by 4 1/2 games.

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Adam Duvall
Adam Duvall

So how has Adam DuVall, former UofL baseball player, been doing since he hit that home run in his very first game with the San Francisco Giants back on June 26?

He’s seen action in 12 games with 40 at-bats, currently batting .200, with eight hits, including two home runs and a triple.

He collected his second four-bagger on July 22, driving in two runs that put the Giants ahead of Philadelphia in a 7-4 win.

Louisville’s Adam Duvall joins Giants, witnesses no-hitter

A big day Wednesday for Adam Duvall, who played baseball at the University of Louisville during the 2009-2010 seasons. Duvall saw his first game as a major leaguer when the San Francisco Giants called him up from the Fresno Grizzlies in the Pacific Coast League.

2013 Major League Baseball Photo Day

A special game, a special day, even though he didn’t crack the lineup, made even more special as right-hander Tim Lincecum, tossed a no-hitter and the Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 11-0.

This from the  San Francisco Chronicle:

What a day for Duvall. He flew in from Austin, Texas, where the Grizzlies were playing, showed up at first pitch, donned his new No. 37 Giants uniform then got to join the celebration on the field when Lincecum finished the no-hitter.

“I jumped on the pile and I got to be a part of it,” Duvall said with an ear-to-ear smile. ” To be able to witness that my first day here, it was a little hectic, a little awesome.”

And this:

Duvall, 25, was the Giants’ 11th-round pick in 2010 out of the University of Louisville and was leading the Pacific Coast League with 23 home runs when he got the call. He largely plays third base, but manager Bruce Bochy plans to give him occasional starts at first base, allowing Michael Morse to play in left field.

Stats in the PCL can be inflated, but as manager Bruce Bochy said, “I don’t care where you are. That’s a lot of home runs. We saw him in spring training. He’s got easy power. You’re never going to hit as many home runs here as in Triple-A, but he’s got that power.”Nobody in the room has seen him more than second baseman Joe Panik, who rose through the Giants’ system with Duvall and saw the right-handed hitter’s transformation over the past few seasons.

Hitting has become so easy for Duvall, “It’s almost like a video game for him,” Panik said.

Update: Duvall started Thursday at first base for the Giants, going 1 for 3, a home run, in his third at bat, in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati.

Handling Adversity Key For Louisville Baseball

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Not liking the way things have been going lately.

Far too many come-from-behind wins required late in the season, a weak showing in the Big East baseball tournament, and a three-game suspension for Dan McDonnell as NCAA action begins.

Louisville batters making too many opposing pitchers look good with their collective hitting slump and too many of U of L’s relief pitchers, especially Gabriel Shaw, looking vulnerable. Even super stopper Neil Holland giving up a home run in his most recent outing.

Don’t look now but it looks like the return of more wet weather, rain delays, late starts, later endings.

Gotta get better for this University of Louisville baseball team.

A few weeks into the season, Dan McDonnell said that the true measure of a team is how it responds to adversity. “Bad things are going to happen,” he stated. “You have to prepare for them, make adjustments and move forward.”

When asked about playing without McDonnell, shortstop Adam Duvall responded, “We’ll miss him but we’ve been preparing for this all season, overcoming a lot of challenges. We just want to play baseball, and we’re ready to get back out there.”

Louisville Is Your Big East Baseball Champion

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  • Freshman righthander Justin Amlung with six shutout innings, allowing only four hits.
  • Adam Duvall with three hits, including two home runs.
  • Drew Haynes, yes Drew Haynes, with three hits.
  • Josh Richmond, Andrew Clark, Stewart Ijames and Ryan Wright with two each.
  • Jeff Arnold throwing the foolish out at second.
  • No need for ninth inning heroics.
  • Now that’s what fans have come to expect from University of Louisville baseball.
  • A 13-3 win over Notre Dame, sweeping the doubleheader and the series.
  • That and a second consecutive Big East Conference regular season baseball championship with a 21-6 conference record, and a record-setting 46-10 won-lost record overall.
  • Living up to Dan McDonnell’s expectations.

Big East Tournament pairings are here.