Bristol Blues General Manager Jordan Scheiner described Blues pitcher Jagger Duquette as the epitome of the “Bristol Way.” Duquette said it’s an honor to be described as a hard-worker and high-character figure, but for him, it is more about inspiring the youth.
When Duquette is not on the mound aiming to throw strikeouts, he is working as a counselor at the Bristol Sports Armory teaching the students how to play baseball. He said it’s been fun how life has come full circle for him as he remembers being a kid playing on the same sandlot looking up to the Bristol players at the time.
“That was a really big deal for me,” Duquette said. “For me, I just feel like I’m showing up to coach these little kids, but to them I am someone they can look up to and I really like being that for them. I grew up in the exact same way as them, I did the exact same things as them, I played in the same little leagues, I went to the same high school they’re going to go to, so it’s a really cool position that I am in.”
Duquette has always naturally gravitated to the sport of baseball. Whether he was out having a catch with dad or yelling at other players to stop picking dandelions during little league, he always took the sport more serious than others. Although it was around 12 years-old that he really got the bug.
“Once I started playing on a couple good teams back then, you really feel what it’s like to win and it something you never want to give up,” he said.
Thankfully, Duquette said he was lucky enough to grow up in a baseball town where competition was rooted in its three little league programs and up through its in-town high school rivalry.
While his Bristol Eastern alumni status may make him a little bias, he said there’s nothing wrong with either of them, but back then it was simple, “if you go to Central, you don’t like anyone from Eastern and if you go to Eastern, you don’t like the kids that go to Central.”
He said regardless of the sport, the rivalry was intense. People showed up to watch and cheer and the competition always went up to another level.
“Those games were battles,” he said. “It didn’t matter how good or bad we were. It really brought out who could compete.”
Duquette’s relationship with the Bristol Blues also began while he was in high school. As a sophomore and junior he interned for the organization. He also became the mascot for the team heading into his freshmen year of college. But Duquette always wanted to play for the Blues.
He said now getting the opportunity to play in the NECBL and having success individually and collectively, it has been a dream come true.
“I grew up playing at Muzzy and now I get to play in my own backyard again,” he said. “It’s just great. Every single guy does the little things each night to win us a game. It’s really cool to see that come together and I’ll give a lot of credit to our coach.”
Duquette said when you grow up thinking about what it would be like to be a professional baseball player with being on the road all the time, playing in big stadiums and having little kids ask you for autographs, the Blues has been the closest thing to it.
“It feels like how it would be to play professional baseball,” he said. “It weeds out the people who can handle it because not everyone wants to be on the road. They might think they want to, but once it comes it’s not easy.”