It’s a sad day in the baseball world as former Philadelphia Phillies’ catcher, Darren Daulton, passed away Sunday in his battle against brain cancer and with his loss a bit of my childhood mourns as well.
My favorite team of all time is the 93’ Giants that won 103 games yet didn’t make the playoffs because back then there were only two teams that went per league.
That team was stacked with Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Matt Williams, Billy Swift and John Berkett to name a few. It was a great squad, however, if it weren’t for my loyalties to San Francisco the 93’ Philadelphia Phillies team would easily be my favorite of all time.
Back then we didn’t have the access to seeing many teams outside of our market. You either read about them in the newspaper or if they did something interesting you may see a highlight or two from the local news sports segment.
I knew nothing about the Phillies that year but when I saw them in the playoffs, upstaging the mighty Atlanta Braves and head into the World Series, I was instantly enamored.
This team looked more like carnies from a traveling circus than ballplayers, with nicknames like “The wild thing,” and mullets…. Mullets galore! Absolutely ridiculous looking but they were undeniably unique and boy could they play.
You had Lenny Dykstra , with a big lump of chew hanging out the side of his lip, hitting bomb after bomb from the lead off spot.
There was John Kruk, the king of the mullets, waiving his bat widely in the batters box, looking something like an overweight farmer in a baseball uniform that could somehow slap a 95mph fastball into the gaps.
They had a young Curt Schilling on the pitching staff and the Wild thing himself, Mitch Williams, coming in at the backend to close it.
But the glue of that team was Darren Daulton. The 6 foot 2 catcher that looked more like a WWE wrestler than a major league player. He was big, he was bad, and simply a tough looking hombre that even Madison Bumgarner would think twice about messing with.
Most people will remember that World Series with Joe Carter hitting a walk-off home run in game 6 and rightfully so. But for me that 93’ Philly team is something that will always stay with me as my favorite group of ballplayers not wearing a uniform with San Francisco on the front.
Maybe it’s one of those childhood things that was bigger in my mind than it actually was but for my money you couldn’t find a more interesting bunch of characters that also played baseball outside of the Major League films.
In short they were the mullet-sporting, overweight, drunk and endearing squad that you some how related too. That team and its All-star Catcher will be missed.