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Remembering Dutch

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Before Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley captured the hearts of Phillies fans for their grit, toughness, and dedication, there was Darren “Dutch” Daulton.

Young fans of the Philadelphia Phillies may not remember Darren Daulton. His final year as a professional came in 1997, in which he helped the Florida Marlins win their first World Series. Fans, such as myself, remember how tough, gritty, and, most of all, beloved he was.

Daulton played nearly fourteen years and appeared in over 1,100 games for the Phillies. He is the only catcher in Phillies history drive in 100 RBIs in consecutive seasons. He was a 3x All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and a World Champion. However, his most important accolade can’t be counted or calculated: “A true leader of men.”

Daulton was the Phillies team captain for close to a decade. He brought an old-school mentality to a sport that was about to see multi-million contracts, no-trade clauses, and endorsement deals. His veteran presence helped keep teams together. When Daulton joined the Marlins in 1997, Jimmy Leyland, the future Hall of Fame manager, said that the Marlins would not have won if Daulton wasn’t there.

However, Daulton’s best season as a player and a leader was in 1993. Daulton was not only tasked to be the team’s primary run producer but also had to captain a ship that featured some of the craziest personalities that would make the characters in Major League blush.  The Phillies would go on to become one of the most improbable teams to capture the National League pennant.

Daulton wasn’t just a famous jock. He founded charities to help the homeless, and when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, he founded the Darren Daulton Foundation to help those suffering from the affliction he had.

Philadelphia has lost one of the great ones. Rest in Peace Dutch.

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