Monday, August 7, 2017

Philadelphia Phillies legend Daulton passes away from brain cancer

Philadelphia baseball icon Darren Daulton passes away at age 55
The Philadelphia Phillies announced Sunday night that former catcher and fan-favorite Darren Daulton has passed away at age 55 following a four-year battle with brain cancer.

Affectionately known as "Dutch", Daulton was a charismatic leader and played a pivotal role in the Phillies unforgettable run to the 1993 World Series. A three-time All-Star, he spent 14 seasons in Philadelphia after being drafted by the organization in 1980.

A great ballplayer, Daulton led by example and commanded the Phillies' clubhouse during the majority of his career.

“Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership,” said Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles. “In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. He battled through five knee operations to become an All-Star. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him, I loved him like he was one of my own. In fact, he called me ‘Uncle Bill.’”

Daulton set a franchise single-season record with 143 starts behind the plate in 1993. He remains the organization's only catcher to post two seasons with at least 100 RBIs, driving in 105 in 1993 and 109 in 1992 while winning the Silver Slugger Award. He was inducted to the Phillies' Wall of Fame in 2010.

"All of us at the Phillies are saddened to hear of Darren's passing. From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person,” said Phillies Chairman David Montgomery.

“Darren was the face of our franchise in the early 1990's. Jim Fregosi asked so much of him as catcher, clean-up hitter and team leader. He responded to all three challenges. One of my toughest decisions as team president was to approve his trade to the Marlins in July of 1997. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Amanda, his parents, his brother and his four children. Dutch was truly ‘one of a kind’ and we will dearly miss him."

Daulton's offensive numbers fail to accurately demonstrate his value to the club. He was an outstanding pitch caller and knew how to handle a pitching staff. He sacrificed his own health at times for the betterment of the team and had no problem at all policing the clubhouse by himself.

"I just need to give him the word and he's on it," former manager Jim Fregosi said. "He's the guy I rely on the most in the clubhouse to address a situation. If something needs to be done he's all over it."

Daulton ranks second in Phillies franchise history in career WAR (24.4) behind only 19th-century slugger Jack Clements (25.9). His 134 career home runs is second behind only Mike Lieberthal's 150 dingers. His 1,109 appearances is fourth most for a Phillies catcher in franchise history.

In 2011, Daulton established the Darren Daulton Foundation, whose mission shifted in 2013 to raise funds for brain cancer after he himself underwent surgery for the resection of two brain tumors related to glioblastoma at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Darren Daulton Foundation Foundation, 1339 Chestnut Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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