Duquette set for Hall induction


The Berkshire Eagle

Since the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 2014, Berkshire County baseball people have dotted the induction classes. The Class of 2018 is no exception.

Dalton native Dan Duquette, the current Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations of the Baltimore Orioles, is part of the nine-member class of 2018 set to be inducted next month The festivities will take place on Thursday, Feb. 1, at the LaQuinta Inn and Suites, 100 Congress St., in Springfield.

Duquette will not only be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but he will be the keynote speaker at the event. It is the second consecutive year that a Berkshire County baseball fixture was honored and was the guest speaker. Tom Grieve was inducted last year, and gave the keynote address.

The Western Mass. Baseball Hall of Fame was founded to recognize the region’s top baseball figures, but to celebrate Western Massachusetts’ long history with the sport.

Duquette is part of a pretty high-powered Hall of Fame class, which is led by former Major League Baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti. Giamatti, who died of a heart attack in 1989 at the age of 51, grew up in South Hadley. He spent five months as commissioner, and was replaced by Fay Vincent. Vincent, a Williams alum, had a summer home in Williamstown.

Duquette enters the Hall of Fame having twice been named the Sporting News executive of the year. He has been the general manager of the Red Sox and the Montreal Expos.

He is a graduate of Wahconah and Amherst College.

The rest of the Class of 2018 includes Arthur “Ace” Adams of Longmeadow, a longtime major and minor league pitching coach; Archie Allen, who coached baseball at Springfield College for 31 years; Chris Capuano of West Springfield, who won 77 games in a 12-year big league career; Steve Newell of East Longmeadow, who starred at UMass; Julio Vasquez of Springfield, a leader of that city’s youth baseball programs, and the Holyoke High School 1985 state championship baseball team.

In addition, Brady Kahle will receive the Bunny Taliefero Community Service Award. Kahle, a Springfield youngster, sold part of his baseball card collection to raise money for a friend battling cancer. The campaign has raised more than $20,000 to assist the families of his friends Landen Palatino and Ben Manzi. Palatino passed away in August, while Manzi’s cancer is in remission.

Duquette and Grieve are joined in the Western Mass. Hall by Pittsfield native Art Ditmar, a member of the Class of 2015.

Ditmar had a nine-year big league career, including a stint with the New York Yankees. He started two games in the 1960 World Series against Pittsburgh.

The banquet is open to the public. The dinner and program starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 each or $425 for a table of 10.

To purchase tickets, call 413-533-1100 or email tickets@valleybluesox.com.