Darren a Wall of Famer
Guess you’ve heard by now that Darren (Dutch) Daulton is the 2010 inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame. He’s the 32nd player to receive such an honor but only the second catcher. The other catcher? Bob Boone, inducted in 2005.
Darren came to the Phillies as the 25th round selection 30 years ago. He was a skinny kid, listed on the scouting reports at 150 pounds.
Guess you could say, he was born and raised a Phillie. He wore a Phillies uniform for 14 seasons, one of nine to wear it that long. Now, he’ll be forever remembered as one of the best to wear this uniform.
Dutch was a three-sport star in high school in Arkansas City, KN: football, baseball and wrestling. As the quarterback, he led his team to the 5-A state championship in 1979. He was the cleanup hitter on the championship baseball team. A four-year wrestler, he was runner-up in the state championship (142-pound class) in his senior year.
He demonstrated early that he was a leader, a quality he carried as a Phillies player. Not many players earned the respect on the field and in the clubhouse as did Darren.
The guy was a tough competitor. He had nine knee surgeries, a fractured right clavicle, a broken right hand and an incomplete tear of his left rotator cuff. He battled though every injury. Disabled list? How about eight times.
As a catcher and the recognized leader, Darren was always in demand by the media post-game. He had a routine that came first, however, ice treatment for his knees. He’d lie on the trainer’s table with both knees wrapped in ice. “Hey, Baron, let them (media) know I’ve got 8 more minutes and I’ll be out,” he often informed me.
The amateur baseball draft isn’t an exact science. Some tools are easily measured. Some, such as heart and leadership, aren’t as evident.
We drafted three other catchers the year we took Darren in the 25th round: #1 Lebo Powell; #3, Doug Maggio and #10, Jerome Kovar, the only college player (SMU) among the four.
Darren developed into a Wall of Famer. The others never made it to the big leagues and have disappeared.