Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton played numerous positions within his Major League Baseball career, he played all outfield positions, as well as a short stint at first base and Dutch always delivered well with the bat! Mr. Daulton is best remembered for his fourteen years behind home plate, as the catcher and clubhouse ‘leader’ of the Philadelphia Phillies (1983 – 1997).
Daulton has been called the best clubhouse leader the Phillies have ever had, this fan does not doubt that fact for one second — as I grew up watching Dutch come onto the squad not long after I watched Tug McGraw and Bob Boone win the Championship, in 1980. I got to sit behind home plate quite a bit in Veteran’s Stadium! I was a pitcher and my Pop took me to games when he could to study the pitcher-catcher realm of things.
Darren Daulton was drafted by the Phillies organization in the 25th round in the 1980 MLB Draft and went on to become a AA All-star with the Reading Phillies, in 1983. September 23, 1983 marked Dutch’s debut with the Phillies in the Major Leagues, with sparse playing time as Virgil and Parrish were still major players in the regular rotation at that time. In 1989, Daulton became the full time catcher and caught a no-hitter (footage) for Terry Mulholland within his initiating season, as it was August of 1990.
The 1992 season was one of the best for Dutch, as he lead the National League in runs batted in at 109; he finished the season in the top 10 for on base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs and extra base hits. This same year brought Darren to his first All-Star appearance, as well as the National League Silver Slugger Award and the voted National League MVP. Not a bad year at all!
The following season, Dutch continued to lead the National League across the board in many of the same and new categories for performance — as well as leading the Phillies to winning the 1993 Pennant! Though our Phillies could not take home the World Series win, Mr. Daulton still was responsible for driving in more than 100 runs, still reached the top 10 in slugging percentage, home runs and extra base hits.
It is no secret that the position of catcher definitely takes a toll on one’s legs, thighs, feet and mostly the knees. In 1994, knee injuries plagued Dutch as he approached the play of his finest season yet to come.
Over the next two years, recurring and new injuries continued to keep Daulton off the Phillies active field and in 1997, following 17 years with the Phillies organization, Darren Daulton was traded to the Florida Marlins…where he won a World Series Championship ring, in 1997… and retired from active play.
In 14 seasons, Daulton hit .245 with 137 home runs, 588 RBI and 511 runs scored in 1161 games. Darren Daulton was ranked as the 25th greatest catcher of all-time by Bill James in the 2001 edition of his Historical Baseball Abstract.
On August 6, 2010 Darren Daulton was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.
Since his active play in MLB, Mr. Daulton has been busy both in his own enterprise and the giving of his time to numerous charitable causes between Florida and offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
This Phillies fan and sports photographer had the absolute pleasure of spending a lovely afternoon on a Melbourne, FL golf course with Mr. Daulton, his partner Mr. Perri and other guests there for the Yuengling sponsored charity tournament.
I had followed Dutch on Facebook here and there and was fortunate enough to be credentialed to go to cover the course action and a lunch gathering afterwards. After a little research on Mr. Daulton’s foundations and causes, it meant so much more to meet the catcher I watched through netting basically for 11 years, prior to moving to Florida to only watch him get a ring here! I was more impressed with the charity work of both Mr. Daulton and Perri.
One of the main focuses and beneficiaries of the events Dutch hosts is equine therapy and all therapies for children that may have been victims of abuse or trauma. The foundation Marley’s Mission provides horse therapy to children that need deep healing and to possibly build back some confidence or esteem following a devastating life event.
A fascinating area of enterprise for Dutch is in the areas of energy and cleaner sources of energy and more choices within that realm to the consumer. Read more here.
These reasons, the charitable acts and appearances, the years of watching this man make MLB history on a diamond and then, to finally meet him this past March is why the news of this past Monday was that much more of a shock for this fan to digest.
Most recently, Darren Daulton has been diagnosed with two brain tumors and will undergo some rather serious surgery, possibly two rounds, in attempts to successfully remove both if not as much as they are able. Daulton’s rep mentioned in an interview that Darren’s exact words were: “Right on! Fight on!” after seeing the fan support that had already rolled in Monday, simply on the release of the news. So, the ol’ Dutch us Phillies fans know and remember may have just checked in for the battle of a lifetime…and he sounds like he is ready to give this all he has, so let us support him, his friends and family in supporting this battle.
You can go to this link: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22549272/former-phillies-catcher-darren-daulton-diagnosed-with-brain-tumors for an email address that was set up specifically for well wishes for Dutch, to keep them in one place and easily accessible please stick to what they are releasing for these purposes.
This sports and Philly fan would like to take this moment to thank Darren Daulton, for the years in Philadelphia behind the plate, as I do not think I got to on the golf course! To also thank Mr. Tony Perri, as well as Mr. Daulton for their welcome and hospitality while taking golf images in Melbourne. It would be an absolute pleasure to be able to work together in the future.
More links to check out:
Mr. Daulton resides on my list of all-time favorite catchers in MLB, in order of appearances: Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, Darren Daulton and Jason Varitek. This fan and photo-journalist is fortunate enough to have met two of these favorites and Darren Daulton is one and this fan has to report, best sports personality met to date. Thank you to Mr. Daulton and camp and all the best through Monday’s procedures and beyond. If anyone will win a fight like this, it is Dutch that can and shall!