Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton, leader of the 1993 ‘Macho Row’ NL Pennant winners
14. DARREN DAULTON, Catcher
Darren Daulton was born and raised in Arkansas City, Kansas and was drafted by the Phillies out of high school in the 25th Round of the 1980 Draft. He got his first cup of coffee in the big leagues with the 1983 team that won the NL Pennant, and was with the club when it clinched the NL East in the final weeks of the season.
Through the 80’s, Daulton was back and forth between the minors and majors. Then when the team finally turned the page after Mike Schmidt retired and Juan Samuel was traded away in 1989, he began to get a more central playing role.
With a new generation of teammates like Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, and Mitch Williams, Daulton became the clubhouse leader. Together they turned in a worst-to-first season in 1993, winning the NL Pennant before losing a hard-fought World Series to the star-studded Toronto Blue Jays. That team remains one of the most beloved in club history for the fans, an oasis in a mostly two-decade long desert of losing seasons.
He was a 3x All-Star between 1992-95, won the ’92 NL Silver Slugger at catcher, and twice finished in the top 7 of NL MVP voting. Daulton had become a fan favorite over the years with the female fan base because he was movie-star handsome, and with the male fan base because he fought through 7 knee surgeries to become the leader of a team that won against all odds.
Now in his low-50’s, Dutch has battled brain cancer over the last few years, the same condition that claimed the lives of former Phillies mates Tug McGraw and John Vukovich, prompting speculation that there may have been something in the environment at Veteran’s Stadium which caused the cases.