Many people credit Theo Epstein for having helped build the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship team. He may have a big part in it, but one man pretty much goes unnoticed. Dan Duquette.
Dan Duquette was the general manager of the Boston Red Sox from 1994 to 2002 when new management came in and cleaned house. Duquette had a gift of developing some great players. Players like Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Youkilis, David Eckstein, Hanley Ramirez, and Freddy Sanchez. It allowed the Sox to prepare for the future and use the prospects as chips in trade negotiations, which the Sox have done. The Red Sox for a long time had the best minor league system in baseball, which has since been depleted by trades, and it was a testament to Duquette, and to a lesser extent Theo Epstein, and his developmental skills.
Duquette also pulled of one of the "Great Train Robberies" in baseball. In 1997, Duquette dealt much maligned reliever Heathcliff Slocumb to the Seattle Mariners for troubled pitcher Derek Lowe (charged with felony in Washington for allegedly striking his girlfriend) and catching prospect and former Little League champion Jason Varitek. Slocumb struggled with the Mariners and Lowe and Varitek's careers took off in Boston. Many baseball insiders and reporters regard this as one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history. In the 2004 postseason, Derek Lowe won every clinching game for the Sox and if this trade isn't made then Sox Nation could still be waiting for a title.
Dan Duquette made some key signings, too. He signed Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, and at the time a minor signing of Johnny Damon. All of which were key in the Red Sox title teams. He also acquired Tim Wakefield from the Pittsburgh Pirates and has been a mainstay in The Hub ever since. However, he has been criticized for not resigning Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, and Mike Greenwell. He most notably said about Roger Clemens was that he was "in the twilight of his career". Clemens, Vaughn, and Canseco have been accused of taking PEDs after, and possibly during, their time in Boston. So not only do PEDs ruin players career they may have ruined Dan Duquette's.
Duquette still made dividends in Boston after he left. Boston traded 35 minor leaguers that he drafted and help develop to get such names like Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett.
Also, Duquette helped build the 1994 Montreal Expos team, the best team that never was. As the Expos GM, he brought in Ken Hill, led the team in wins in '94, John Wetteland, Pedro Martinez, Delino DeShields. The Expos had their best team ever, but the '94 strike ended all of that. He also was a scouting assisstant for the Milwaukee Brewers and helped them draft future stars like Gary Sheffield, John Jaha, BJ Surhoff, Dale Sveum, Greg Vaughn, Troy O'Leary, among others.
After Duquette was fired, he went on to help start the Israel Baseball League becoming the Director of Baseball Operations, but the league folded after just one season. He also formed the Dan Duquette Sports Academy for, as the website describes it, "a sports training center for boys and girls ages 8–18 who are interested in learning baseball, softball, basketball and life skills from distinguished high school, college and professional coaches." Duquette has also acted when he had a role in a Western Massachusetts theatre production of, oddly enough, Damn Yankees.