Editor's Note: The above video is from Matt Duffy's media availability on July 27.
SAN FRANCISCO — In the third inning of his third game for the San Jose Giants, Matt Duffy hit a ground ball to third that went for an infield single. That’s where things get interesting. According to the box score, Matt Duffy then advanced to second on a throwing error by … Matt Duffy.
If two careers go as planned, that strange sequence could play out in some respect on the big league level.
The Houston Astros on Monday called up 26-year-old third baseman Matt Duffy, not to be confused with Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Duffy.
“We’re taking over,” San Francisco’s Matt Duffy said Monday, smiling.
Duffy found out about The Other Matt Duffy’s call-up on Sunday night when Twitter followers started sending him messages. It turns out the two have a long history together, going all the way back to Duffy’s (for the purposes of this confusing story, San Francisco’s Matt Duffy will be Duffy and Houston's will be “The Other Matt Duffy”) freshman year at Long Beach State. Duffy’s teammate, Joey Terdoslavich, now with the Braves, came back from the Cape Cod League and told Duffy that he played with another Matt Duffy. They’ve been linked since.
“I get his baseball cards sent to me,” Duffy said. “People will come up to me on the rail and give me his card. It still happens, to this day.”
Even a card company got confused. There’s one card out there for The Other Matt Duffy that has Duffy’s face on it.
“That one I’ll sign,” Duffy said, “Because it’s my picture.”
The Astros took their Matt Duffy in the 20th round of the 2011 draft. A year later, the Giants got their Matt Duffy in the 18th round. In 2013 they finally crossed paths on the baseball field. One was playing for the San Jose Giants and the other for the Lancaster JetHawks.
“I stepped up to the plate and their catcher was like, ‘Whoa, this is trippy,'" Duffy said.
They went a combined 0-for-8 the first night. In the second inning of the second game of the series, The Other Matt Duffy doubled, reaching second base while Duffy was playing shortstop.
“It was like, ‘Whoa, nice to meet you,’” Duffy said.
In the third, Duffy reached on the infield single and went to second on the throwing error by The Other Matt Duffy. He raced past him on a double by Devin Harris. Two years later, Duffy has spent much of his season putting together a Rookie of the Year case and becoming a household name in the Bay Area. His counterpart earned Monday's call to the big leagues by hitting .295 with 18 homers, 102 RBI and 90 runs in the Pacific Coast League and earning MVP honors in a league San Francisco’s Duffy skipped in 2014.
“I’m happy for him,” Duffy said. “I think it’s going to be funny watching us get confused for each other. People tweet at me about him all the time. I’m sure it happens to him.”
Duffy has the big head start on Matt Duffy fame, but if this leads to years of confusion, he can take solace in this truth: There’s still only one Skeeter.