He's out: Dalton native Duquette selling Hinsdale sports academy

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HINSDALE — Former Boston Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette is getting out of the sports camp business.

The Dalton native has put the Dan Duquette Sports Academy at 101 Michaels Road on the market for $1.97 million, according to the listing posted by selling agent Jan Perry Realty & Associates of Pittsfield.

The 60-acre property at Plunkett Lake includes a two-story administration building, a first aid building and a heated 5,000-square-foot clubhouse. It also features a two-story dormitory, seven 800-square-foot cabins and a dining hall, in addition to several ballfields, and facilities for swimming, boating and other watersport activities. The ballfields are lighted.

Duquette brought a New England Collegiate Baseball franchise to his sports academy, which played one year in Hinsdale before he moved it to Pittsfield in 2005.

Duquette, who turns 62 on May 26 and lives in Sandwich, said he decided to sell the property to pursue other interests.

"We've been at it for 18 years and just decided it was time to do some other things," he said by telephone. "I've got a younger family, I'm developing my consulting business and I live down on the Cape. It was a labor of love to run the sports academy and a tough decision to move on from it. But, all things considered, I did that for a long time."

In December, the town's Board of Health had warned Duquette that, due to past concerns about camp conditions, his sports academy would need to show for a full month that it met state regulations before it would be allowed to open this year.

Fred J. Sears, Hinsdale's public health agent, said those concerns became moot when Duquette decided to place the property on the market, although he believed that they would have been resolved if Duquette had decided not to sell the property.

According to Sears, Duquette had been considering using the camp on a limited basis this summer by bringing in different groups for short periods of time. But, even under that scenario, Sears said the sports academy would have been subject to state codes and regulations.

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"I think he just pulled the plug on it at that point," Sears said.

Duquette said the property was in compliance with all regulations.

"We complied with all the regulations for all the years that we operated the camp," Duquette said. "That's not an issue. It's a beautiful property. Plunkett Lake is a nice area."

Duquette and his brother, David, who lives in the Berkshires, originally purchased the former Camp Wyoma for $195,000 from the Stigmatine Fathers of Waltham in August 2001, while Dan still was general manager of the Red Sox. The sale closed two days before Duquette fired then-Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams. The sports academy opened two years later.

Duquette, who recently was named to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, was fired by the Red Sox as general manager in 2002. He also has served as the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles and the Montreal Expos.

The Stigmatine Fathers, a religious order, had purchased the property in 1940 from the heirs of the Rev. James Moore, who served as the pastor of St. Charles Church in Pittsfield for many years.

Moore, who died in 1936, established the camp for the children of St. Charles' parish and personally ran the facility from 1932 to 1936. From 1940 to 1950, the property was used by seminarians when they were on summer vacation.

When the Duquette brothers purchased the property, town officials said they believed that a camp had not operated on the site for at least 15 years, and that the last camp to use it had ceased operations in 1972.

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at 413-496-6224 or tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com.


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