Jean Dubuc

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For the former politician in Quebec, Canada, see Jean Dubuc (politician).
Jean Dubuc
Jean Dubuc baseball card.jpg
Jean Dubuc baseball card
Pitcher
Born: (1888-09-15)September 15, 1888
St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Died: August 28, 1958(1958-08-28) (aged 69)
Fort Myers, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 25, 1908, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1919, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 84–76
Earned run average 3.04
Strikeouts 438
Teams

Jean Joseph Octave Dubuc (September 15, 1888 – August 28, 1958), sometimes known by the nickname "Chauncey", was a right-handed American baseball pitcher, manager, and scout, and a coach of both baseball and ice hockey.

A native of Vermont, Dubuc played professional baseball for 17 years between 1908 and 1926, including nine seasons in Major League Baseball with the Cincinnati Reds (1908–1909), Detroit Tigers (1912–1916), Boston Red Sox (1918), and New York Giants (1919). During his major league career, he had a 85–76 win–loss record with a 3.04 earned run average (ERA). His best season was 1912 when he compiled a 17–10 record with a 2.77 ERA.

During the investigation of the Black Sox Scandal, he was implicated for having "guilty knowledge" of the fix. He later served as the coach of the Brown University baseball team in the 1920s and worked as a scout for the Detroit Tigers in the late 1920s and 1930. He was responsible for signing Birdie Tebbetts and Hank Greenberg.

Early years[edit]

Dubuc was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in 1888.[1] He attended Saint Michael's College in Vermont as a member of the high school class of 1906. While attending Saint Michael's, he played three sports, compiled a 23–1 record in two years as a pitcher for the baseball team, and threw a no-hitter against the University of Vermont baseball team in 1906. He was inducted into the Saint Michael's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.[2]

Notre Dame[edit]

Dubuc enrolled at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1906 and played both baseball and basketball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As a freshman in the spring of 1907, he compiled a 5–1 record as a pitcher. In his only loss in 1907, Dubuc threw a one-hitter and struck out 16 batters but Notre Dame lost to Minnesota, 2–1. In 1908, his record improved to 8–1, his only loss coming against the University of Vermont.[3]

On June 7, 1908, Dubuc and the Notre Dame catcher, Ray Scanlan, appeared in a semipro baseball game for the "White Rocks" at Gunther Park in Chicago. Dubuc appeared under the name Williams, but he was recognized by fans present at the game. Despite the presence of the Notre Dame battery, the White Rocks lost by a 2–1 score.[4][5] The Notre Dame athletic board of control charged Dubuc and Scanlan with professionalism, and they denied having played in the game and requested time to gather evidence in their defense.[6] Dubuc was ultimately found to have appeared in the game, and his college eligibility was removed.[5]

Professional baseball player[edit]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Within days after losing his college eligibility, Dubuc signed with the Cincinnati Reds.[5] On June 25, 1908, Dubuc made his major league debut for the Reds. He gave up five earned runs in 3-1/3 innings and, adding injury to insult, sustained a knee injury and had to be carried off the field.[7] He returned to the mound as a relief pitcher two weeks later on July 12 and allowed only one hit in four innings.[8] He also pitched a complete game shutout over the 1908 World Series champion Chicago Cubs team on September 7, 1908.[9] In all, Dubuc appeared in 15 games for the 1908 Reds, nine as a starter, and compiled a 5–6 record and a 2.74 ERA.[1] He also traveled with the Reds to Cuba after the 1908 season and won three of four exhibitions games he started on that trip.[5]

In 1909, Dubuc was slowed after contracting malaria.[5] He appeared in 11 games for the 1909 Reds, two as a starter, and compiled a 2–5 record with a 3.66 ERA.[1]

Buffalo and Montreal[edit]

On November 3, 1909, the Reds sold Dubuc to the Buffalo Bisons of the Eastern League.[10] He was then acquired by the Montreal Royals where he remained through the 1911 season. He compiled a 21–11 record with Montreal in 1911.[11]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

On September 1, 1911, after Dubuc's strong performance during the 1911 season, the Detroit Tigers selected Dubuc in the Major League Baseball draft.[12] Dubuc signed with the Tigers in January 1912 after some wrangling over salary with Tigers owner Frank Navin.[13][14] Dubuc became part of the Tigers' starting rotation for five consecutive years from 1912 to 1916. In five seasons with Detroit, Dubuc was 72–60 with 90 complete games.[1]

In 1912, Dubuc appeared in 37 games, 26 as a starter, and compiled a 17–10 record with a 2.77 ERA and a .269 batting average. He ranked among the American League leaders with a .630 winning percentage (eighth), and 23 complete games (ninth). However, lack of control also placed him among the league leaders with 16 wild pitches (first) and 109 bases on balls (second).[1]

In 1913, he had another strong year, appearing in 36 games, 28 as a starter, and compiling a 15–14 record with a 2.89 ERA. He was arguably the best fielding pitcher in the American League in 1913 with a 4.56 range factor per nine innings pitched (best in the American League), 107 assists (second in the league among pitchers) and 16 putouts (third in the league). He also led the league for the second consecutive year in wild pitches with 13 and ranked fourth with 91 bases on balls.[1]

He remained with the Tigers for another three years, going 12–14 with a 3.46 ERA in 1914, 17–12 with a 3.21 ERA in 1915, and 10–10 with a 2.96 ERA in 1916.[1]

Salt Lake City[edit]

On January 16, 1917, the Tigers released Dubuc to the Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League.[15][16] He compiled a 22–16 record a in 1917 and a 3.18 ERA in 42 games for Salt Lake in 1917.[11] The following year, he went 9–9 with a 3.60 ERA in 19 games for Salt Lake.[11] He also played in the outfield for Salt Lake in 1918 with a .303 batting average.[11][17]

Boston and New York[edit]

In late July 1918, he signed with the Boston Red Sox.[17] He appeared in only two games for the Red Sox, compiling an 0–1 record with a 4.22 ERA.[1]

On April 7, 1919, the Red Sox returned Dubuc to Salt Lake.[18] Two weeks later, on April 23, the New York Giants bought Dubuc from Salt Lake.[19] He appeared in 36 games, 33 as a relief pitcher, for the 1919 Giants and compiled a 6–4 record with a career low 2.66 ERA.[1] Despite the strong performance, Dubuc was released by John McGraw of the Giants after the 1919 season. McGraw later stated publicly that he released Dubuc because he "constantly associated" with Sleepy Bill Burns, a gambler who played with Dubuc on the 1912 Tigers and was a central figure in the Black Sox Scandal.[20]

Minor leagues[edit]

Although his major league career ended in 1919, Dubuc continued to play in the minor leagues for the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association in 1920 and the Syracuse Stars of the International League in 1922 and 1923.[11] During the 1921 season, with his role in the Black Sox Scandal under review, Dubuc played semi-pro baseball in Montreal in the Atwater Twi-Light League and the Montreal City Baseball League.[21]

In 1924, Dubuc organized an Ottawa baseball team, called the Ottawa Aces, as part of the Quebec Ontario and Vermont Baseball League.[22][23][24] He also served as the team's player-manager in the 1924 season. He compiled a 2-2 record and a .286 batting average for Ottawa in 1924.[11]

In 1925, he was hired as the manager of the Manchester, New Hampshire, team in the Boston Twilight League.[25] Dubuc was a player-manager for Manchester, making an occasional appearance as a pitcher.[26] He remained as player-manager of the Manchester in 1926 as it transitioned into the New England League, which was revived for the 1926 season.[27] At age 37, he appeared in 10 games as a pitcher and compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.00 ERA. He also batted .311 in 61 at bats.[11]

Chicago Black Sox Scandal[edit]

During the 1920 investigation into the Black Sox Scandal, evidence was discovered showing that Sleepy Bill Burns had advised Dubuc that the 1919 World Series had been fixed and that Dubuc should therefore bet on the Cincinnati Reds. Dubuc was neither a participant nor a conspirator in the scandal, but was pursued for his "guilty knowledge" of the fix. Sources are in conflict as to whether or not Dubuc was banned from baseball as a result of the investigation.[28][29][30][31]

Coach and scout[edit]

In December 1926, Dubuc signed a three-year contract to coach the Brown University baseball team.[32] During the 1927-1928 and 1928-1929 seasons, he also coached the Brown ice hockey team.[33]

From 1929 and into the 1930s, he also served as manager and president of a professional hockey team at Providence, Rhode Island, known as the Rhode Island Reds, as part of the Canadian–American Hockey League.[34][35][36][37]

Dubuc also scouted for the Detroit Tigers in the late 1920s and 1930s. As a scout, he signed catcher Birdie Tebbetts and first baseman Hank Greenberg.[38][39]

He also served as the manager of the New Bedford Whalers baseball team of the New England League during the 1936 season.[11]

Later years[edit]

After Dubuc left baseball, he worked for as a salesman for an ink company. He lived for the last five years of his life in Fort Myers, Florida. His wife died in 1956, and he died two years later at age 69 at a Fort Myers hospital.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jean Dubuc". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Saint Michael's Names Six Legends To Athletics Hall Of Fame". Saint Michael's College. June 28, 2006. 
  3. ^ Cappy Gagnon (2004). Notre Dame Baseball Greats: From Anson to Yaz. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 52–53. ISBN 0738532622. 
  4. ^ "Notre Dame Men Charged: Dubuc and Scanlon Are Accused of Professionalism". The Indianapolis News. June 9, 1908. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ a b c d e Gagnon, Notre Dame Baseball Greats, p. 54.
  6. ^ "Dubuc and Scanlon Gather Evidence". The Indianapolis News. June 11, 1908. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Bad Start For Dubuc: Loses Game And Is Injured". The Indianapolis Star. June 26, 1908. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ "Blanked By Discarded Twirler". The Enquirer, Cincinnati. July 13, 1908. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ "Dubuc Got Even With Cubs". The Enquirer, Cincinnati. September 8, 1908. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ "Garry Will Take Your Stock". The Enquirer, Cincinnati. November 4, 1909. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jean Dubuc Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Major Leagues Draft Many Men". The Courier-Journal. September 2, 1911. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  13. ^ E. A. Batchelor (January 24, 1912). "Dubuc Is Almost Eligible For The Holdouts' Ranks". The Detroit Free Press. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ "Summers and Dubuc Signed". The Pittsburgh Press. January 30, 1912. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ "Salt Lake Gets Dubuc: Detroit Announces Sale of Slow Ball Hurler". The Des Moines Register. January 17, 1917. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  16. ^ E. A. Batchelor (January 17, 1917). "Salt Lake Club Gets Dubuc". The Detroit Free Press. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  17. ^ a b "Dubuc Waits For Red Sox". Boston Post. July 25, 1918 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  18. ^ "Jean Dubuc Falls Back". The Washington Times. April 7, 1919. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  19. ^ "Jean Dubuc Sold to Giants". April 24, 1919. p. 27 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  20. ^ Gagnon, Notre Dame Baseball Greats, p. 56.
  21. ^ Gagnos, Notre Dame Baseball Greats, p. 56.
  22. ^ "Ottawa In Professional Baseball: Jean Dubuc, Famous Hurler, Manager". The Ottawa Journal. March 28, 1924. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  23. ^ "Career of Jean Dubuc, Ottawa's Peppy Pilot, Is Colorful Chapter In Baseball History". The Ottawa Journal. May 15, 1924. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  24. ^ "Bulldogs Meet Aces In Double Bill". The Ottawa Journal. May 31, 1924. p. 25 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  25. ^ "Dubuc to Manage Manchester Club". Fitchburg Sentinel. April 29, 1925. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  26. ^ "untitled". Fitchburg Sentinel. August 7, 1925. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  27. ^ "Jean Dubuc to Boss Manchester, N. H., Team". The Des Moines Register. March 14, 1926. p. 4S – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  28. ^ Daniel E. Ginsburg (2004). The Fix Is In: A History of Baseball Gambling and Game Fixing Scandals. McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 0786419202. ("Dubuc's guilty knowledge of the Black Sox scandal led to his expulsion from baseball.")
  29. ^ Timothy M. Gay (June 9, 2005). "Cubs-Red Sox Series framed by WWI, strike threat". USA Today. ("Jean Dubuc, was implicated in the 1919 Series scandal and banned by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.")
  30. ^ Tom Simon and Guy Waterman. "Jean Dubuc". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved April 20, 2016.  ("Others who were no more implicated in the scandal than Dubuc were banned for life, but Landis failed to notice the newly obscure pitcher in Montreal's Atwater Park Twilight League.")
  31. ^ Cappy Gagnon (2004). Notre Dame Baseball Greats: From Anson to Yaz. Arcadia Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 0738532622. ("Several sources indicated that Dubuc was banned from baseball for his 'guilty knowledge,' but this was disproven by his later career in the Minors and his work as a Major League coach and scout.")
  32. ^ "Dubuc Signs as Brown Ball Coach". The Bridgeport Telegram. December 22, 1926. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  33. ^ "Hockey". Encyclopedia Brunniana. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Jean Dubuc Hockey Pilot". The Pittsburgh Press. January 5, 1929. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  35. ^ "Goes To Canadiens". The Ottawa Journal. January 24, 1930. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  36. ^ "Providence Buys Vail From Rangers". The Ottawa Journal. October 28, 1930. p. 18 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  37. ^ "Canadiens' Right To Players Denied". The Detroit Free Press. December 4, 1932. p. 36 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  38. ^ Charles Ward (September 18, 1936). "Ward to the Wise". Detroit Free Press. p. 20 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  39. ^ "Joe Williams Says". The Pittsburgh Press. March 13, 1930. p. 36 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  40. ^ "Jean Dubuc, Ex-Tiger Star, Dies". Detroit Free Press. August 29, 1958. p. 32 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read