Shelley Duncan – Gone But Not Forgotten

Lost in the Mark Teixeira hoopla was the DFA-ing of David Shelley Duncan. No, Shelley wasn’t a superstar on the Yankees or even a medium-sized star, but he was famous for nearly ripping off the arms of his teammates whenever he high-fived them.
Called up from the minors in July ’07, he hit three homers in his first three games and became an instant cult hero. “Shel-ley! Shel-ley!” Everybody loved him.
In spring training of ’08, he competed with Giambi, Betemit and Ensberg for the first base job – and lost. Which didn’t say much for his defensive skills.
Shelley did draw attention for his high-spikes slide into the thigh of the Rays’ Aki Iwamura.
But that was about it. After seeing very little playing time, he was sent back down to Scranton. And now he’s been dumped to make room on the roster for Teixeira. The good news is the Yankees have a real first baseman now. The bad news is we won’t have Shelley.
Goodbye, Shell, you crazy lunkhead. I hope you land with the Cardinals, where your dad is the pitching coach, and that baseball will always be “the funest part” of your life. (See video for Shelley’s special way with words.)


  1. redbirdchatter

    Uhhhmmmm….that’s OK. I believe we’re all full up at first base with the NL MVP and all. And……we already have his brother Chris, who is really a first baseman but is playing the outfield. He, too, came up strong and struggled mightily last year, finally landing on the DL.

    However, the potential to be great at the plate is there. A team might pick him up for a song and really cash in.

    Or, maybe, the boys will grow up to be coaches like their dad. Dave Duncan really is a wizard at getting the most out of a pitcher.

    Best Wishes, Shelly!

  2. Jane Heller

    I agree, Julia. It would be nice to see all three Duncans together.

    But Kathy, you do make a good point about that certain MVP the Cards have at first. Doesn’t he need a backup though?

    Actually, I was thinking of Shelley for the OF. He played right field for the Yanks and did OK. And his bat really electrified people when he first came up. He could be a good bench player some place.

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jane …

    Duncan, Betemit, Ensberg, Lane, Sexson, Ransom, and Swisher, [almost a whole baseball team full of first basemen], all who do not equal Mark Teixeira !!! … Maybe, just maybe, Brian Cashman finally learned a major lesson, “quantity does not equal quality” !!! … But, I will always remember Shelley Duncan for his fun attitude, great enthusiasm, and defending his teammates last spring in that brawl against the Rays !!! … Godspeed, Shelley Duncan !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  4. Jane Heller

    We did have a whole team of first basemen, Jimmy, and I’m so glad that era is over! Shelley had nice pop in his bat and a youthful enthusiasm. He was fun to watch.

  5. redbirdchatter

    Actually, we are much like the Yankees with “depth” at first base. We have brother Chris and at least three minor league first basemen that are playing other positions because they know they’ll never get the call-up at first base. And, we have a stockpile of outfielders. So, even though it would be a fun thing to see the family together, I’ll be surprised if it happens, but I’ve been wrong many times before.



    This is the price Yankee fans pay for having superstars constantly pushed upon us, so we can go to the World Series. We loved Shelley Duncan. What a great smile. What a great guy.

    If only he could field. But… ugh… I think he inspired the ad campaign, “America runs on Duncan.”

    el duque

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s