Darren Daulton, a three-time All-Star catcher who led a ragtag Philadelphia Phillies team to an improbable pennant in 1993, died on Sunday at 55. The Phillies announced his death and said the cause was brain cancer, which Daulton had fought for four years.
Daulton, who was given a plaque on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame in 2010, started his major league career with Philadelphia in 1983 and stayed with the organization until 1997, when he was traded to the Florida Marlins. He helped the Marlins beat Cleveland in the World Series that year, hitting .389. He then retired with a .245 batting average, a .357 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage.
The Phillies did not have a formal captain’s position during Daulton’s career, but as a no-nonsense figure who had fought through many knee injuries to become an everyday player, Daulton was the acknowledged team leader.
In 1992, the Phillies finished in last place, but Daulton still managed 109 runs batted in, leading the National League. The next season, he willed Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and a rowdy, shaggy group of misfits to a surprise National League Championship Series victory over the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays, with Daulton behind the plate during Joe Carter’s title-clinching home run.
A longtime resident of Clearwater, Fla., where the Phillies hold spring training, Daulton is survived by his wife, Amanda, and four children. He is the third prominent alumnus the Phillies have lost this year, after Dallas Green — the manager of their 1980 championship team — and the Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning.
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