L.J. Dupuy has been associated with baseball for nearly 70 years.

The Brusly graduate and Louisiana baseball legend was honored Saturday when the Brusly baseball stadium was renamed L.J. Dupuy Stadium at Charles K. Marionneaux Sr. Field before the game against Parkview Baptist.

“It’s a great honor,” said Dupuy, 79. “I was kind of shocked when I first heard about it. I appreciate so much that people have thought enough of me to do this. I hope for the remainder of my life, I can live up to the expectation of someone who has been honored like that.”

Dupuy was a star athlete at Brusly. He was a 4-year letterman in football, baseball, basketball and track. He was named the most valuable player in basketball in 1960, 1961 and 1962 and in baseball in 1962. He was named the most valuable track athlete in 1960. He was an all-state basketball player at Brusly.

Dupuy first played baseball at around age 10 and later played in the American Legion program. After he graduated high school, he played baseball and basketball at Southeastern Louisiana University, but injuries halted his career.

“I really thought I had a chance,” Dupuy recalled. “It was my freshman year (in college) and in the American Legion playoffs in August, I dislocated my shoulder for the second time. Then I was playing on the Southeastern basketball team, so I didn’t get out to baseball until late and I pulled my groin and ended up getting redshirted that year.”

After the injuries, Dupuy said he turned his attention to working with kids and that kickstarted his baseball coaching career.

Dupuy was asked to take over Brusly’s American Legion baseball program in 1969, which he continued until 1995. 

“A gentleman came by in the house, my wife and I had just gotten back and he offered me $200 to coach the American Legion team,” Dupuy recalled. “That was a lot of money back then. I told him ‘yeah, I’ll do that.’ Of course, I went 25 years and never got paid again but I learned a lot of lessons there and got a chance to start scouting with the Dodgers.”

Dupuy later worked as a coach for professional players in independent leagues.

His baseball experience also led to work as a scout for the Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as the Prairie League in Canada and the independent Texas-Louisiana League. He also spearheaded the All-American Association’s Baton Rouge River Bats, the first-ever professional baseball franchise in the Capitol City.

The team won championships in two of its three years in operation.

In 2004, Dupuy developed the first summer collegiate baseball league in South Louisiana. It was called the South Louisiana Collegiate League. The games were played at Pete Goldsby Field in Baton Rouge.

He split his time between a job as a contractor in the steel fabrication industry and coaching legion baseball. Dupuy traded his hard hat for a baseball cap when BRCC approached him in 2005 to start the program.

He said one of the collegiate league’s sponsors asked about his interest in coaching baseball at the local community college.

“At the time, I didn’t know that their coach was leaving,” Dupuy said. “I had a really good job at performance contractors. I hesitated and talked to my boss. He said if you want to do it, go ahead and do it. That’s how I got in at BRCC. They recommended me for the job to take over after the first year. I took over and was there for 15 years.”

Dupuy said one of the things he is most proud of is the upgrades made to Pete Goldsby field.

“I’m as proud of the field situation as any because I started that thing over there,” he said. “We got permission to use it and they came in and spent a ton of money to get that thing renovated and turned it into a really nice facility. Spent about over $1 million on the upgrades. I’m as proud of that as I am of anything else. Taking an old facility and turning it into something that community had use of.”

 Dupuy said he’s thankful for the honor and he hinted at possibly doing something else in baseball if continues to stay healthy.

“I may do something in baseball on a developmental basis,” he said. “I don’t expect to be coaching teams and traveling. It was a pleasure while I did it but it was very hard on my family. I’m lucky I have a wonderful wife who put up with me all those years. I wouldn’t do that again.”

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