March 24, 2004
Albany-- Daniel Dukes knows he has a long road ahead of him. "It's coming back. I didn't realize it would take as long as it has," Dukes said.
But Dukes couldn't be more happy about his current situation. "It just feels right, I can't explain what it is but I feel good about being here," Dukes added.
What makes Dukes even more appreciative is the fact that it took him three years to get to Darton. After helping lead Cook High to the 2000 double-A state championship, Dukes literally couldn't stay put. He signed with Middle Georgia, but never played a game for the Warriors. Then came brief stops at ABAC and Lake City Community College.
"My shoulder wasn't working right and it was a lot of other things. You know, I was young and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew it was baseball, but I didn't know what."
It wasn't until he visited his former high school to watch his younger brother Trammell play that Dukes realized what he was missing.
"Watching him and being out there with him, I didn't realize how bad I'd missed it until I went and watched," Dukes said.
And then came the opportunity he was looking for.
"Coach Corr came up to me and asked me if I thought I might be interested in a big ol' guy that could swing it and throw a little bit. And I said, 'Yeah, who you talking about Dukes?' Because I had seen him up in the stands and he said, 'Yeah,' And I said sure, we'll talk to him," Darton coach Glenn Eames said.
Dukes jumped at the chance to not only get back in the game he loves but also to be reunited with his younger brother, a freshman second baseman for the Cavaliers.
"It just makes it that much sweeter to be able to come play baseball alongside your little brother."
And for the first time in nearly four years Daniel Dukes is fitting in.
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