Philadelphia Phillies All-Star catcher Darren Daulton has passed away at the age of 55, according to a statement released by the team. Daulton, also known by his nickname “Dutch,” spent more than a decade with the Phillies before finishing his career in 1997 with the Florida Marlins.
Daulton was drafted by Philadelphia in 1980 in the 25th round of the MLB draft; in 1983, following an All-Star appearance with the AA Reading Phillies, he was called up to the Major League roster. He spent his first few years backing up the likes of Ozzie Virgil and Lance Parrish before taking over as the full-time starting catcher in 1989.
In 1992, Daulton led the National League in RBIs with 109 while also finishing in the top 10 for on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs, walks, runs created, and extra base hits. His standout season earned him All-Star honors in the MLB for the first time, as well as the Silver Slugger Award. The following year he also helped take the Phils to the NL title, though they lost the World Series title to the Blue Jays.
After several years of dealing with injuries, Daulton was traded to the Florida Marlins in 1997; persistent knee problems had forced him to change positions, and by this time he was primarily playing in left field with additional appearances at first base. The Marlins took the World Series championship that season, and after winning it all, Daulton retired from playing.
Following his retirement, Daulton hosted a radio talk show, “Talking Baseball With Dutch,” from 2010 to 2016. In 2013, he was diagnosed with gliobastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer; he went through radiation therapy and surgery before announcing in 2015 that he had entered remission. Unfortunately, the cancer returned earlier this year.
“All of us at the Phillies are saddened to hear of Darren's passing,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said. “From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person. Darren was the face of our franchise in the early 1990s. Jim Fregosi asked so much of him as catcher, cleanup 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.”