Dan Duquette, the former Red Sox and Expos' GM who owned an NECBL franchise for four seasons after leaving Major League Baseball, was introduced today as the Baltimore Orioles' Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations.
Duquette, 53, started his baseball career as a scouting assistant with the Milwaukee Brewers. He worked as the Montreal Expos' farm director from 1987 to 1991, then served as the franchise's General Manager from 1992 to 1994.
The next season, the Western Massachusetts native took the Red Sox' GM position, which he held for eight seasons.
Duquette took the Old Town Team to the playoffs three times, accumulating a .544 winning percentage from 1995 to 2002. In the eight seasons prior to Duquette at the helm, Boston was a mere nine games over .500.
Twice, Duquette traded for star pitcher Pedro Martinez, considered too small to be successful early in his career. He also completed the deal that sent pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb to Seattle for the young battery of Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. In hindsight, it was one of the most one-sided trades of Duquette's generation.
Theo Epstein was the GM when Boston finally won the World Series in 2004, but the contributions ofMartinez, Varitek and Lowe, as well as others, are proof that Duquette's fingerprints were very much on that Curse-busting team.
After leaving the Red Sox, Duquette owned the Pittsfield Dukes NECBL franchise from 2005 to 2008. In a 2005 interview Redsox.com said:
"Duquette, who runs a sports academy near his hometown of Dalton, Mass., in the Berkshire Mountains, purchased a franchise in the acclaimed wood-bat New England Collegiate Baseball League and moved it to historic Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Mass., for the 2005 season.
Pittsfield, the site of the first intercollegiate baseball game in history, made headlines last year when a document, dated 1791, was found from the town's archives that mentioned the word "baseball," making it the earliest known use of that word.
And Wahconah Park, which has been used for baseball games since 1892, has its own history, with Lou Gehrig, Jim Thorpe and countless future Major Leaguers having suited up there."
Even before the interview, Duquette had long been an advocate and friend of the NECBL. The NECBL congratulates Duquette, who coincidentally inherits a 40-man Orioles roster with former Keene Swamp Bat Jason Berken.