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Remembering Darren “Dutch” Daulton

MLB Network mourns the passing of Darren Daulton

MLB Network mourns the passing of Phillies and Marlins great Darren Daulton.

Posted by MLB Network on Monday, August 7, 2017

 

by Bay Ragni

As Sunday night August 6th was coming to a close and I was laying in bed, with the news on, eyes closed listening as I do every night at around 10:40 pm BREAKING NEWS….. Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton has passed away.

I literally just laid there squinting my eyes (I wear glasses), and kept saying No, No, No, through my sleep apnea mask.

The man known as “Dutch” lost his battle to brain cancer.

Daulton was Philly, he was hard working, never give up, play through the pain, and win games type of guy that this city loved.  If you google Phightin Phils, Dutch’s picture will be there, he was the true definition of just that.

Darren was drafted in the 25th round, 629th overall and with his dedication to the game, the team, and the fans became an 3x All-Star, NL RBI Leader in 1992, Silver Slugger in 1992, Word Series Champion (Florida Marlins) in 1997, and honored on the Phillies Wall of Fame, but I bet most of all he was in the city of Philadelphia’s heart even after retirement, through sickness and now with his passing.

Dutch was the leader of that beloved 1993 Phillies team, the captain of “Macho Row”, that is probably the most beloved sports team that lost the championship but is still talked about almost 25 years later.

Darren who had a love for his cold ones, with multiple accidents and arrests for DUI’s over the years but in a weird way added to the Dutch persona in which no one faulted him or talked bad about it, or even surprised by it, because it was Dutch.

When it was first announced in 2013 about his brain cancer the city, the franchise, and the league rallied around Dutch and when he announced in 2015 he was cancer free I honestly don’t think anyone was truly surprised that he beat cancer just like his bat beat many teams.

Over the last 2 years things have been pretty quiet on the Dutch front with not too many mentions, appearances, etc. so in my mind, or hoping that Darren was enjoying life being cancer free. When Former teammate & member of Macho Row Lenny Dykstra announced last week that Darren had days to live I think everyone just hoped he was wrong, sadly he wasn’t.

Thanks Darren Daulton for all the smiles you brought to Phillies fans on & off the field, you will never be forgotten in the City of Brotherly love.

I want to share with everyone some quotes from some of the Phillies as well as the Totally Driven Entertainment fans…..

The Late Harry Kalas : “Nobody worked harder to play this game at its highest level, He battled through 9 knee surgeries and never quit. He was the best team leader I have ever seen, and one of the nicest men I have ever met. To females a matinee idol, but also the epitome of a man’s man. Darren Daulton”

Lenny Dykstra :”The Philadelphia Phillies family and the world of baseball have lost a warrior. I played with several tough dudes in my career, but Dutch was the toughest. He was the unquestionable leader of our magical 1993 Phillies team that went from last to first, thereby energizing the city of Philadelphia. His unrelenting toughness had a dramatic effect on the mindset with which we all played. Much of Dutch’s career was spent in Philadelphia, whereby the team often finished at or near the bottom of the standings. However, that all changed in 1993! We had a feeling in Spring Training, that something was different that year, and that feeling proved to be right. Our motley crew of characters, given virtually no chance by the prognosticators, swaggered our way to the World Series. Dutch was always the rock the guy who steadied the ship. Jim Fregosi entrusted him to keep us focused and together. Dutch did not disappoint. It’s ironic that I am now sharing my memories during this sad time. The reality is that Dutch couldn’t stand me, a common feeling amongst many of those who were not my teammates, early in my career. Nonetheless, when I was traded to the Phillies, we became brothers almost immediately. While he had been with the Phillies for a few years, he became a starter in 1989. Within a year, John Kruk, Dave Hollins and I had all joined the team. Catchers characteristically are the ‘coach on the field.’ Dutch was more than that. He was our anchor and our leader; ensuring that our focus was always between the lines when we played. His stewardship and incredible toughness were the inspiration for that magical year in 1993, when we put it all together, and made baseball fun again in Philly. It was a privilege to have played with him, and to have known him. I will miss him.”

Mickey Morandini : “We have lost a good one. I have a heavy, heavy heart today. Dutch not only was a great person, a great friend, and also the greatest clubhouse leader I’ve ever played with. He was also like a father figure to me during my career. I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to Amanda and the entire family.”

Tommy Greene :”Darren was one of the strongest men and leaders I’ve ever known. I’m glad I was able to call him a friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Darren.”

Danny Jackson :”You want perseverance, Darren Daulton. You want heart, Darren Daulton. You want dedication, Darren Daulton. You want commitment, Darren Daulton. You want a leader, Darren Daulton. You want courage, Darren Daulton. This is what Darren had to do to be a great baseball player. More importantly this is what Darren took to battle his cancer. He lost his fight to this terrible disease but he will always be my teammate and he will never lose my respect, my friendship, my love for the way he played in the game of life.”

 

Totally Driven Entertainment Fans

Doug Waitzman : “A sad day for Philly indeed. Dutch was the heart & soul of the Phillies 93 World Series Team!

Tommy Storm :“I’ve always loved watching baseball, especially the Phillies. I played little league and was a catcher as well. During Dutch’s reign, he was great to watch and made sure to watch many games as well as attend just to watch him play”

Mindy Romano : “Bay, if anybody knows me from back in the 90’s they know I was a HUGE fan of his. I went to many games at the Vet just to see him lol. Usually had awesome seats too cause my old boss has season tickets, so a lot of times we sat behind home plate and what a great view it was  ha! Love that Phillies team and him so much. I’m glad I got to meet him a few years back a couple of times, even bought my friend and I drinks. RIP DARREN

Daulton is survived by his wife, Amanda, his parents, Carol and David Daulton, his brother, David Jr. and his four children. A private memorial service will be held in Clearwater, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Darren Daulton Foundation, 1339 Chestnut Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19107 and sent to the attention of Brett Datto, President.


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