“Bubba, I will miss you. I will miss laughing with you and reliving all those memories from that glorious year. I will miss your big smile, open arms, with you calling out to me “Pooh” on Alumni weekends. The only comfort I feel today is that Fregosi and Vuk will be waiting for you at the gates of heaven, with a cold beer ready, and talk of how the Phils are doing. Vuk will want to know who to put the freeze on. Harry and Whitey will have the call, ‘Look at who is coming to the gate, the Captain, #10, Darren “Dutch” Daulton!’ There will be a standing ovation and Harry will lead all of our dearly departed Phillies family in his signature rendition of ‘High Hopes!’ Love you Dutch-Godspeed, and don’t give my locker to anybody else or I’m gonna be pissed!” – Mitch Williams
If you’re not from Philadelphia and were born after 1990, you probably have no idea about Darren “Dutch” Daulton. 24 years ago, the ’93 Philadelphia Phillies team emerged from the National League as champions, miraculously besting a Braves team – consisting of Greg Maddox (HOF), Tom Glavine (HOF), John Smoltz (HOF), Chipper Jones (you switch hitting bastard), Terry Pendleton (’91 MVP), David Justice (was married to Katie Couric, or something), Bobby Cox (beat his wife), DEION MF SANDERS, Ron Gant (The Gant Man CAN), Jeff Blauser (probably a really nice guy), and Fred McGriff – that would crush Tom Emanski’s back-to-back-to-back AAU National Champions by going back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back MLB playoff appearances, starting with the 1991 NL Pennant and ending with the 2005 NL Division Title.
To understand the ’93 Phillies, you must first immediately watch the 2-hour ’93 Phils documentary High Hopes. Then, realize that for 24 years (1983-2007) the Phillies made the playoffs once: 1993. The ’93 Phils were an oasis in a barren, embarrassing, god-awful stretch of baseball. Daulton was an exceptional leader that willed this insane team, full of steroids, tobacco, and beer (likely a bunch of ‘greenies’ and cocaine as well), to the World Series.
“[He was] the glue that kept a bunch of misfits together.” – Milt Thompson
“Daulton never turned his back on anyone.” – Larry Anderson
“[Daulton] was the 1993 team’s ‘heart and soul’.” – Larry Bowa
“[Daulton] was the epitome of what an MLB veteran was supposed to be.” – Kevin Stocker
“I’m surprised OJ didn’t murder [Daulton] since he killed the other two Hottest White People of ’93.” – Pat O’Brien
Unfortunately, the team’s party bus
eventually ran out of gas exploded via aerial speed trap air missile as they were approaching their exit to history. It would take Joe Carter, the stacked and incumbent WS champion Toronto Blue Jays, and the most devastating walk off of all-time to end the most unlikely of seasons.
The grainy DIY VHS recording of Joe Carter’s home run immediately places you in October of 1993 on a Lazy-boy recliner from your neighbor’s yard sale, with a 12-pack of Rolling Rock, a factory job that just left town, and a wife that has left you for this new town called Scottsdale, Arizona. You can barely see the ball as it clears the left field fence because your grainy television from 1981 is the most standard definition. You can, also, barely see the “America” as we knew it clear the fence, never to be seen again. The likes of John Kruk, Dave Hollins (F*ck You Maddox!), Milt Thompson, Lenny Dykstra, Curt Schilling, Mitch Williams, Mickey Morandini, Tommy Greene, Terry Mulholland, Jim Fregosi, and their leader Darren Daulton would be the last of their breed (except Ken Caminiti of course).
It’s not your fault you aren’t Darren Daulton. Although for one summer in 1993 you could imagine that you were; you could still be a Major League Baseball player. But here you are 24 years later, most likely addicted to opioids, living disability check to disability check. Do you know what Darren would have told you in ’93? Depressed because your wife left? Go take some steroids, get jacked. Sad that your factory job left for Bangladesh? Move to LA to become a pornstar. Someone pissing you off? Rip their arms off. He would say “Are you done [expletive] around? It’s hot out here and the beer is cold in the clubhouse – let’s go!”
Make Baseball THAT Again,