The baseball world lost not one, but two legends in the span of 24 hours: Darren Daulton and Don Baylor. Both Daulton and Baylor impacted baseball in multiple ways and have left their imprints on the game.
Daulton, a 14-year veteran and three-time National League All-Star, was most famously known for leading the improbable charge of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies to the National League Pennant that year, where they ultimately lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in a thrilling six-game classic of a World Series. But despite putting up what some viewed as paltry offensive numbers, the reason that Daulton resonated with so many people was the intangibles of his locker room leadership.
“But what made him more valuable than those modest numbers might suggest were his intangibles, particularly his knack for calling games and commanding respect. Pitcher Curt Schilling, who blossomed when he began throwing to Mr. Daulton in 1992, fell under his spell, frequently calling his battery mate “the best catcher in baseball.” Manager Jim Fregosi labeled Mr. Daulton the game’s “best leader.”
The Wild Child of the the 1993 Phillies, Lenny Dykstra, delivered an emotional video about on the man they called Dutch today. In Dykstra’s words, Daulton was “the kind of guy that you wanted on your team, and he was without a doubt the unquestionable leader on a team that went from last from first in 1993.”