Jacques Doucet (sportscaster)

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Jacques Doucet (born March 8, 1940, Montreal)[1] was the French radio play-by-play voice for the Montreal Expos from 1972 to 2004. He is currently the French play-by-play voice of the Toronto Blue Jays on TVA Sports.

Early career[edit]

He began his career in 1959 as a translator for the Canadian Press news agency.[1] After one year in 1960–1961 as a sports journalist for the short-lived Nouveau Journal daily, he went to La Presse in 1962, still as a sports journalist, where he remained until early 1972.[1]

Sports broadcasting[edit]

During a long strike in 1964 at La Presse, he had a brief first experience in sports broadcasting, for Montreal Alouettes football games.

He got the assignment as the Montreal Expos beat writer for La Presse as soon as the franchise was awarded to Montreal in 1968,[2] in addition to being the official scorer for games at Jarry Park.

Sometime in the middle of the Expos' first season in 1969, he was asked to replace from time to time Jean-Pierre Roy as colour commentator[1] on the now-defunct CKLM 1570, which held the French radio broadcast rights, as Roy moved to TV broadcasts once a week.

Play-by-play[edit]

In 1972, as CKAC 730 became the Expos' new French radio flagship, Doucet was hired by the (now-defunct) Telemedia network to do play-by-play for all Montreal Expos games,[1] in addition to the All-Star, League Championship and World Series games and a selection of pre-season Expos games.

When Télémedia merged with Radiomutuel on September 30, 1994, creating the new Radiomédia network, he became an Expos employee and continued to do play-by-play but only for Montreal Expos games, which continued to be aired mostly on CKAC 730 until the end of 2003. (He was heard for a few games on CKVL 850 (now CINF 690) in 1995, and on CJMS 1040 in 2002 and 2003. CHMP-FM 98.5 took over as the French radio flagship in 2004 for the last season of the Expos in Montreal).

Over his career, Doucet described more than 5,000 Major League Baseball games,[3] including two perfect games (by Dennis Martínez in 1991 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and by New York Yankees pitcher David Cone against the Expos in 1999).

Awards[edit]

He was introduced in the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002,[1][4] in the Expos Hall of Fame in 2003[4] and in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.[4]

While fans hope he will be recognized by the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame via the Ford C. Frick Award,[5] this has not occurred yet (although he has been a finalist five times, including in 2011).[6][7] Doucet has been described as "the French-Canadian equivalent of Jaime Jarrín"[5] and even as "Canada's Vin Scully",[5] but it has been noted that "because he broadcast games in French, few of the people who cast final votes for admission to Cooperstown have heard Doucet work",[8] and that the language barrier might keep Doucet out of Cooperstown;[8] at least one observer has suggested that Doucet has failed to win the Award because he is not an American.[9]

Later career[edit]

In March 2005 he became the official spokesperson for Encore Baseball Montreal, an organization initially created to keep the Expos in Montreal and which is now focused on promoting baseball in Quebec.[10]

In June 2005, Doucet's efforts to create a French-language version of standard baseball terminology were underlined at length in a front-page story by the Wall Street Journal.[11]

Return to commentating[edit]

From 2006 to 2011, Jacques Doucet was the play-by-play voice for the home games of the Quebec Capitales.[6][12] The Capitales play in the Can-Am League, an eight-team independent baseball league; their games are heard on CHRC 800 in Quebec City.

In August 2011, Doucet was hired by TVA Sports, a new sports television channel which went on the air a month later, as the play-by-play voice of the Toronto Blue Jays.[3]

Books[edit]

In collaboration with Marc Robitaille, Jacques Doucet has published a two-volume history of the Montreal Expos titled Il était une fois les Expos. The first volume was published in 2009[13] and the second volume was published in 2011.[14]

He had previously published, in 1980, in collaboration with Claude Raymond, a book titled Les secrets du baseball.

References[edit]