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Dig This: From Fan to Fan Favorite

#1 Spencer Duggan
2nd Base/IF/2012 MVP
By Tina Naderi/Crabs Intern

ARCATA (2012) — Imagine you grow up watching a certain baseball team, wishing that one day you could play for them, too. Well, that was what Spencer Duggan wanted as a child, and now the 5’8 in-fielder has become a fan favorite to watch at the Arcata Ballpark.

Duggan is a true blue Humboldt local. Born and raised in the Sunny Brae neighborhood of Arcata, Duggan has positive memories of his childhood.

“I loved [being raised] in the small town atmosphere ... lots of friendly faces, you can walk from one side of town to the other without worrying about something happening to you,” said Duggan.

Growing up, Duggan began playing all sorts of sports. Basketball, baseball — he even started playing golf at the age of nine. But it was baseball that captured the attention of the young Humboldt native.

“I skipped tee-ball and went straight into baseball when I was five. [That] was 17 years ago,” Duggan said.

Although baseball came naturally to him, Duggan made sure not to rest easy and began to work hard to develop his skills as player. Part of learning the game of baseball for Duggan was he attended Crabs baseball games in the summer time. Duggan even participated in Crabs baseball camp in his youth. It’s with his past history of growing up watching Crabs baseball that Duggan finds his current position with the team slightly odd.

“I was a little kid getting my glove signed by all the Crabs players when I was 6, 7 years old. [Now] I see little kids come up and ask for my autograph, and ... it’s funny to me,” Duggan said.

Although this is Duggan’s first year playing for the Crabs, it’s not his first time playing Humboldt baseball. In years previous, Duggan played for College of the Redwoods baseball team as well as the Humboldt Steelheads, a farm team of sorts for the Humboldt Crabs that was put on hiatus for the 2012 season. Duggan says the biggest difference between the two teams isn’t necessarily in the dugout, but in the stands.

“It’s kind of cool having 800 to 1,000 Crabs fans [at the games] versus 50 to 100 coming to Steelhead games,” Duggan added.

Current Crabs Assistant Coach Jeff Giacomini worked with Duggan and the rest of the Steelheads during the 2010 summer season. Giacomini considers Duggan a great team player and is happy someone with leadership skills as strong as Duggan’s is on the team.

“He’s got a good approach, he just knows how to play the game ... he has a lot of maturity,” Giacomini said.

Manager Matt Nutter is thrilled to have Duggan a part of the 2012 season, joking around that he’s watched “Spenny” grow up, he’s happy to have him on the team.

“He’s brings a spark to the team ... [He’s] had a lot of big hits in a number of games for us. Hopefully he’ll keep doing that,” said Nutter.

And those hits have certainly helped the Crabs in some sticky situations. So far this season, Duggan holds a .439 BA and 12 RBI — both the highest on the team.

On his days off from playing ball or practicing, Duggan finds himself in the Humboldt outdoors.

“[I also] like to pan for gold,” said Duggan. “Some people say it messes with your swing as a baseball player, but it’s never really affected me.”

When he’s not in Humboldt playing ball, or spending time with his family, Duggan attends and plays ball at Bellevue University in Nebraska.

“It’s different from [Humboldt],” said Duggan. “A lot less hilly.”