Former Philadelphia Phillies’ catcher Darren Daulton passed away this past weekend at the age of 55 from brain cancer. In my mind, Daulton was one of the most underrated catchers of his era. He was a hard-nosed backstop who, although he didn’t hit for a high average (his career batting average was .245), he was an important run-producer for those Phillies’ teams of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Following are a handful of stats you may not have known about Daulton, who was a three-time All-Star.
- Daulton finished in the Top 10 of league MVP balloting twice in his career… he finished sixth in 1992 (the highest any Phils’ player finished in the voting) and was seventh in 1993 (teammate Lenny Dykstra finished second in the voting that season).
- He led the N.L. in RBIs in 1992 with 109. He is one of only nine Phillies’ players to lead the league in RBIs in a season in MLB history.
- In that 1993 season, Daulton had 105 RBI and 117 walks. He is one of only seven Phillies to reach 100 RBI and 100 walks in the same season.
- Daulton was a member of the World Champion Florida Marlins in 1997, his only season with the team. He went seven-for-18 in the World Series with one home run.
- Daulton was chosen by the Phillies in the 25th round of the draft in 1980 and spent his whole career (minors and majors) with the Philadelphia organization other than his last season in the majors in ’97 with the Marlins.
- Daulton played in 1,109 games with the Phillies, one of only 33 players in Phillies’ history to play in 1,000 games with the team (he ranks 28th on the games played list for the franchise).
- At 21 years, 271 days, Daulton was the fifth youngest player to catch a game for the Phillies in their history.
- Although he played his entire career in the National League, Daulton did start seven games as a D.H. in his career.
- Daulton hit .281 in games won by his teams and .214 in games his teams lost in the majors.
- He batted in all nine batting positions in the line-up in his career.
- Cubs fans may remember Daulton for his stellar play against the Chicago north-siders. Of Daulton’s 137 career HRs, he hit 17 against the Cubs, most against any opponent. His 11 HRs at Wrigley Field were the most he hit in any opposing ballpark. He had a career .301 batting average against the Cubs.
- He made his MLB debut as a defensive replacement on September 25, 1983. He got his first at-bat a few days later on October 1 when he went 1-for-three.