Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Duva making 'Peg homecoming a family affair

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Brian Duva is coming home -- and he's bringing his entire family with him.

Duva, along with wife Ingrid, five-year-old son Drew and three-year-old daughter Elena, will arrive in Winnipeg tonight for what will be a week-long visit to a city that Duva called his second home during the six seasons he played for the Goldeyes between 1995 and 2000.

Duva said he's hoping the trip will give his children, particularly his son, a flavour for what their father did for a living before he settled into a job as a civil litigator for a major Atlanta law firm.

"We might go up to Grand Beach and splash around," Duva said by phone from Atlanta on Wednesday, "but really, we just want to come up and see some games. I haven't been back (in six years) and that's too long and my son is old enough now to see a ballgame and enjoy it. And what better place to do it than Winnipeg.

"I spent a bit of time up there and it's important to see everyone again."

Duva is the only member of the Winnipeg Goldeyes to ever has his number retired, although that distinction will change next month when the Goldeyes honour former reliever Donnie Smith.

Duva was the consumate leadoff man during his years with the Fish, a player who could be counted on to get on base -- he hit .310 as a member of the Goldeyes -- and then make things happen once he did get on.

His 180 stolen bases are still a Northern League record and he is in the top five in nine career franchise categories.

This will be Duva's third trip to Winnipeg since he retired.

He also visited in 2001 when the team retired his No. 5 and in 2003 when he was voted by fans to the all-Goldeyes team.

Duva is coming to Winnipeg at the invitation of the Goldeyes to take part in a series the team is calling "Flashback Fridays," in which former Goldeyes greats are being flown in for Friday night games all summer long.

Goldeyes GM Andrew Collier said Duva will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday evening, spend a few innings signing autographs and then also appear on the team's radio and TV broadcasts.

Collier said about 5,000 seats had been sold for Friday night as of Wednesday morning.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 25, 2009 C4

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