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Chris Wheeler and Larry Bowa Remember Darren Daulton

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 3
Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

On Sunday night the Phillies announced that Darren “Dutch” Daulton passed away at the age of 55 after a four-year battle with brain cancer.  Despite being selected in the 25th round – the 628th overall selection – of the 1980 June draft by the Phillies, he became the leader of the 1993 Phillies team that captured the hearts of the fanbase on their way to the World Series.  Daulton made 143 starts at Catcher in 1993, which was the most in Phillies’ history and tied for the most by any catcher in Major League Baseball that season.

Daulton won a Silver Slugger Award in 1992 and led the National League with 109 RBI; He is the only catcher in Phillies’ history with two 100-RBI seasons (109 in 1992 and 105 in 1993).  He was selected to the All-Star game three times and in 1997 was traded to the Florida Marlins with whom he helped win the World Series in Daulton’s final season.

Former Phillies Broadcaster Chris Wheeler joined Mike Gill on Monday and talked about Darren Daulton as a leader of the Phillies as a Catcher:

“You know people talk about leaders, I’ve always said you can’t be a Relief Pitcher and be a leader, you can’t a bench guy, you gotta to be an every day player, you gotta be someone who goes out there and goes through the wars day after day after day.  And a Catcher, they’re tough anyway, anybody who can go out there and Catch in the big leagues and Catch as much as they did then, or as much as he tried to do, I think he was looked up to because of his mental and physical toughness.  When he was asked to…go in there and tell somebody to get off their butt, go out and take extra hitting or ‘what are you doing running through the stop sign?’….They would listen to him; there were some big guys in that clubhouse, you look at Pete Incaviglia and Dave Hollins and guys like that, but ‘Dutch’ was physically imposing himself.  And I think they really didn’t know if he was going to fight them or not…but I don’t think any of them wanted to test him.  That combination of things and his own ability that he could take it out on the field and also perform himself at a high level, I think it all just fell together.”

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Phillies Bench Coach Larry Bowa also joined Mike Gill on Monday and talked about the satisfaction of seeing Daulton finally win a World Series in 1997 with the Marlins:

“When you see guys that are that dedicated and you feel there’s a void in their resume, even though we went to the World Series in ’93…you’d like to see that one area, that check mark, checked off and he played on a World Series (Champion) team and was very important cog on that World Series team.  The Phillies really didn’t want to trade him but they knew how much he wanted to win and it was a situation where they did him favor.  And ‘Dutch’ was reluctant to leave too but he knew that you only get so many chances to at winning a World Series….and to see what he endured through out his career with the knee operations, not being a real good hitter when he first came up to being a tough out, to see him win that World Series was very gratifying.”

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