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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Scott Duff, Losing Battle - 3213

Scott Duff paced behind the car. In his hand, authorities said, was what appeared to be a gun, according to The St. Petersburg Times.

Suddenly the pacing ended. Duff rushed at officers, his arms extended. It was Dec. 16, 1999, near Orlando, Fla. Officers opened fire. Duff was hit 14 times, killing him on the spot, according to The Times.

This was the same Scott Duff who once played four seasons in the Reds system, getting up to high-A. But this was also a Scott Duff who had descended into drug use, his drug of choice crack cocaine. He was also suicidal.

With him that night in 1999 was a suicide note, Duff distraught that he had started using again, according to The Associated Press. Duff intended to be killed, and for officers to do the killing.

Years earlier, Duff was a young pitcher good enough to turn pro. He wasn't drafted, but the Reds thought enough of him to sign him in 1990 as a free agent out of Middle Tennessee State.

With the Reds, Duff, whose full name is Jay Scott Duff, started at rookie Billings, pitching 13 games in relief. He went 2-2, with a save, posting a 3.58 ERA. He also got three outings that year at single-A Charleston.

Duff returned to Charleston for 1991, picking up eight wins in relief. He also saved 15 games, while posting a 2.72 ERA.

In 1992, Duff made single-A Cedar Rapids, getting 43 relief outings, and a 4.09 ERA. His final time as a pro came the next season, with just seven outings at high-A Winston-Salem, Duff giving up nine earned runs in just 7.2 innings of work.

Out of baseball, Duff returned to Tennessee. By 1996, according to The Orlando Sentinel, Duff had been convicted of his first robbery. By 1999, Duff was in the Orlando area, the owner of an auto-detailing business.

On Dec. 16, 1999, Duff set out to have himself killed

After Duff committed two robberies, one of them armed, police spotted Duff and pulled him over. In his van, according to The Sentinel, was the suicide note, Duff explaining his plan and why.

"Scott was a loving and devoted husband and father of two young children," Duff's wife Cheryl Duff told reporters days later, according to The Sentinel. "He fought a losing battle with drugs. ... He did what he felt he had to do."
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,110
Made the Majors: 661 - 59.6%
Never Made Majors: 449-40.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 287
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 170

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