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Jean Dubuc

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Jean Joseph Octave Arthur Dubuc
(Chauncey)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Though born in Vermont, Jean Dubuc was raised in Fall River, MA. His father owned a granite construction company and was working on building a church in St. Johnsbury, VT when Jean was born. He then lived for a few years in Montpelier, VT, before being sent to the Séminaire Ste-Thérèse in Montreal, QC, where he was to train to become a priest. Instead, he became a pitching star there. He then rejoined his family in Fall River and honed his baseball skills further at South Park of that mill city. He completed his high school studies at the College of the Holy Cross in 1904-1905, then enrolled at Saint Michael's College in Winooski, VT. He then went on to play for Notre Dame and went 14-2 in two seasons. He also played basketball for the Fighting Irish. He lost his eligibility at Notre dame when he was caught playing semi-pro baseball under a false name. He immediately signed with the Cincinnati Reds, making his debut with the team on June 25, 1908.

He was of French Canadian background and spoke French as his first language, a fact that was often mentioned when he played. While his parents probably pronounced his name as in French, in baseball circles it was said as if spelled "Gene".

Dubuc in a Chicago courtroom in 1920

His major league career consisted of time with Cincinnati, Detroit, Boston (where he was on the World Series-winning team of 1918), and New York (National League). He was contacted by Bill Burns, one of the alleged "riggers" of the 1919 World Series and was alleged to be told how to bet on the games. He was called before the Grand Jury to testify. Many people thought he was banned from baseball for this, but he never was. He was released by his team and went to Montreal for a while, keeping a low profile and thus escaping notice by the commissioner. He returned to the United States to play for the Syracuse Stars in 1922 and stayed active in the minor leagues until 1929.

He was an excellent hitter for a pitcher, hitting .230 lifetime at the height of the Deadball Era; in fact his sole appearance in the 1918 World Series was as a pinch-hitter and not as a pitcher.

He spent several years as a minor league manager before returning to New England to coach the New Bedford Whalers team in the New England League. He then went on to Brown University to coach baseball there in 1928-1929.

As a scout, Jean signed such players as Hank Greenberg, Birdie Tebbetts and Gene Desautels. Jean is better know in Southeastern New England as one of the founding fathers of hockey in that area. He was director of the Providence Reds for several years. Under his guidance, the Reds won the American League playoffs 12 years in a row.

At the time of his death he was a salesman for an ink company.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 3 (1912, 1913 & 1915)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1912-1915)
  • Won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 1918

[edit] Further Reading

  • Yves Chartrand: "Jean Dubuc", in Gilles Janson, ed.: Dictionnaire des grands oubliés du sport au Québec, 1850-1950, Les éditions du Septentrion, Quebec, QC, 2013, pp. 142-144. ISBN 978-2-89448-725-9

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