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Archive for August 7th, 2017

Rockies owner Dick Monfort remembers former manager Don Baylor

Don Baylor in 2010 By J. Elden Bailey on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https

On behalf of the Rockies organization, Owner/Chairman & CEO Dick Monfort made the following statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Becky and the entire Baylor family. Don was instrumental in the creation of the Rockies and in his two stints with the club, he left an impact on each and every one of us. He was a big man with an even bigger heart, a friend of so many. His persona will be a part of our club heritage forever. This is a sad day in Colorado and for all of baseball.”

Beginning tomorrow for their game in Cleveland, the Rockies will honor their original manager by hanging a jersey with his name on the back in their dugout.

The club is planning a tribute to Don Baylor when the team returns home on Monday, August 14.




Philadelphia Phillies executives, former teammates remember Darren Daulton


Darren Daulton in 2012 By Dealphungo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https

“Darren was the teammate and leader I learned more from, respected more and was honored to call a friend. He wasn’t afraid to let you know when you messed up, but was also the first to praise you for your effort and dedication to your craft. I love Darren as a brother and will miss him dearly. God bless the Daulton family.” -Ruben Amaro Jr.

“Darren Daulton the ballplayer was and ALWAYS WILL BE synonymous with great leadership and winning. Darren Daulton the person was and ALWAYS WILL BE synonymous with caring and compassion. He never turned his back on anyone, whether they were hurting or in need and was always there even if he merely sensed that someone was on the struggle bus. He may not be in the Baseball Hall of Famer, but he is a Hall of Famer as a person, as most anyone who has known him will attest to. He always greeted you with a big smile, a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek and I will forever miss that greeting…until we meet again!!!” -Larry Andersen

“Dutch was one of the most respected players to ever put on a Phillie uniform. He was the heart and soul of that ’93 team. He was a leader in the clubhouse and on the field, but more importantly, he was my friend.   My heart goes out to Amanda, his kids and his family.” -Larry Bowa

“He was like a brother to me, he meant the world to me. He was a leader to me and to the Phillies organization, not only in the good times but also during the bad times. I know he had been battling this for a long time, and I am not going to remember him like I saw him the last time in Phantasy Camp. I will remember him like the brother he was to me and everyone, the great leader who also was a great husband and father, but most importantly who he was as a human being and how he carried himself. He meant the world to me and always will. I will miss him very dearly.”  -Mariano Duncan

“The Philadelphia Phillies family and the world of baseball have lost a warrior. I played with several tough dudes in my career, but Dutch was the toughest. He was the unquestionable leader of our magical 1993 Phillies team that went from last to first, thereby energizing the city of Philadelphia. His unrelenting toughness had a dramatic effect on the mindset with which we all played. Much of Dutch’s career was spent in Philadelphia, whereby the team often finished at or near the bottom of the standings. However, that all changed in 1993! We had a feeling in Spring Training, that something was different that year, and that feeling proved to be right. Our motley crew of characters, given virtually no chance by the prognosticators, swaggered our way to the World Series. Dutch was always the rock, the guy who steadied the ship. Jim Fregosi entrusted him to keep us focused and together. Dutch did not disappoint. It’s ironic that I am now sharing my memories during this sad time. The reality is that Dutch couldn’t stand me, a common feeling amongst many of those who were not my teammates, early in my career. Nonetheless, when I was traded to the Phillies, we became brothers almost immediately. While he had been with the Phillies for a few years, he became a starter in 1989. Within a year, John Kruk, Dave Hollins and I had all joined the team. Catchers characteristically are the ‘coach on the field.’ Dutch was more than that. He was our anchor and our leader, ensuring that our focus was always between the lines when we played. His stewardship and incredible toughness were the inspiration for that magical year in 1993, when we put it all together, and made baseball fun again in Philly. It was a privilege to have played with him, and to have known him. I will miss him.”  -Lenny Dykstra

“I first knew Darren as just another teammate, but shortly after, I could see he was much more than that. He was the leader of our team, both on and off the field. He was like a brother or a best friend, and that continued long after our playing days were over. I was privileged to have been his teammate on two World Series teams – the 1993 Phillies and the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins. I’m not sure we would have gotten to either without him.” -Jim Eisenreich

“Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership. In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. He battled through five knee operations to become an All-Star. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him, I loved him like he was one of my own. In fact, he called me ‘Uncle Bill.’” -Bill Giles

“Darren was one of the strongest men and leaders I’ve ever known. I’m glad I was able to call him a friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Darren.”   -Tommy Greene

“It was a privilege and an honor to be your teammate and friend. If anybody is wondering what a major leaguer walks, talks, acts and looks like, it was Darren Daulton. A piece of you will always live on in my heart. Love you my brother, rest in peace.” -Pete Incaviglia

“You want perseverance, Darren Daulton. You want heart, Darren Daulton. You want dedication, Darren Daulton. You want commitment, Darren Daulton. You want a leader, Darren Daulton. You want courage, Darren Daulton. This is what Darren had to do to be a great baseball player. More importantly this is what Darren took to battle his cancer. He lost his fight to this terrible disease but he will always be my teammate and he will never lose my respect, my friendship, my love for the way he played in the game of life.” -Danny Jackson

“The first time I saw Darren Daulton we were playing against each other in Triple-A and I thought he was just another ordinary player. When I was traded to the Phillies I realized that he was so much more than that. The culture of the Phillies at that time had to change and Darren led the charge for us becoming a championship-caliber team, and while doing so he not only became a leader and a friend, we became brothers. I will always be grateful for him putting us on his back and carrying us to the World Series. He taught us so much along the way that I will always be indebted to him for that. I love you, brother!” -John Kruk

“Darren was one of the toughest players to ever play the game.” -Jim Leyland

“All of us at the Phillies are saddened to hear of Darren’s passing. From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person. Darren was the face of our franchise in the early 1990s. Jim Fregosi asked so much of him as catcher, clean-up hitter and team leader. He responded to all three challenges. One of my toughest decisions as team president was to approve his trade to the Marlins in July of 1997. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Amanda, his parents, his brother and his four children. Dutch was truly ‘one of a kind’ and we will dearly miss him.” -David Montgomery

“We have lost a good one. I have a heavy, heavy heart today. Dutch not only was a great person, but a great friend, and also the greatest clubhouse leader I’ve ever played with. He was also like a father figure to me during my career. I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to Amanda and the entire family.” -Mickey Morandini

“I was fortunate to be teammates with Dutch my rookie year in 1997. I got to see what accountability and ‘tough as hell’ looked like every day. He’s not the type of guy that is supposed to pass away young. He was a great teammate and a great symbol of the hard-nosed passion synonymous with the city of Philadelphia and its sports.” -Scott Rolen

“Darren and I started in the minor leagues together. We worked our way up together to the big leagues so he was like a brother to me. He was the best teammate I ever had.” -Juan Samuel

“Heart and soul. Those are the two words that define Darren Daulton as a human being and as a member of the Phillies 1993 team. In my 22 years of baseball, I have never been privileged enough to be around a man who led anywhere near as well as Dutch did. He was perfect in that role in every sense of the word. From Hollywood looks to never EVER saying the wrong thing, he led us on and off the field. I am forever grateful to call him a friend and a teammate. God blessed me enough to allow me to be around men who changed my life and I’ll be forever thankful Dutch was one of those men. God bless Dutch, now the fastball down and away.”  -Curt Schilling

“The best thing that happened to me and my first day at the Vet in 1993 was the fact that my locker was next to Darren Daulton’s locker. Not only was Darren a great Major League Baseball player, but he was the epitome of what an MLB veteran was supposed to be. He always had time and patience when I had questions, taught me how to deal with the press, management, coaches, clubhouse and traveling staff and fans. I always respected Darren for the fact that he never treated me like the rookie that I was in ’93, but rather, like every other teammate on that championship team. Darren was never loud and never screamed, but when he did have something to say, everyone listened. I know I did, and because of that, I will be forever grateful to him for the lessons he taught me.” -Kevin Stocker

“To be a general manager and have a player like Darren was truly a blessing. He was the heart and soul of the Phillies, and off the field I was proud to call him my friend. We had stayed in touch until the last couple of months when I knew his struggle was becoming more serious. Darren was always upbeat and never complained. As a player, he fought until the final out. As a man challenged by this deadly disease, he fought until the final out. RIP my friend, you are now pain-free.”   -Lee Thomas

“Darren was a leader and friend who I have admired since the day I met him. He was the glue that kept a group of misfits together and ultimately led us to a championship.” -Milt Thompson

“Before each game, Darren would stand in the small runway at the Vet getting everyone on the same page before the Phillies took the field. Bad knees and all. Darren was the ultimate warrior for the Phillies. Every player who wore the Phillies uniform was his soldier. He would always say, ‘Together we will win today’s game and make the people of Philadelphia proud.’ It was a blessing for me to call him a teammate and friend. He and Jim Leyland were the two most influential people in my life.” -Gary Varsho

“Leadership isn’t manufactured or contrived. You either have it or you don’t. Darren exuded leadership on the field, in the clubhouse, throughout the organization and in public. The likes of Darren Daulton come along very infrequently.” -Ed Wade

“I am so sad to hear of another passing of one of the Phillies family, one of the best I ever had the good fortune to play with, and the biggest part of our most special ’93 team, Darren “Dutch” Daulton. I believe he was truly loved on a different level than most. He was the Captain of our chaos, the most respected player amongst his peers, and those great players who came before him. He was our rock, our leader in that clubhouse of guys in 1993. He, of course, was first locker on Macho Row-I don’t even know how it got the name, but I was fortunate enough to locker next to him, followed by Pete “Inky” Incaviglia, Lenny “Nails” Dykstra, and John “Kruky” Kruk. I say this because while he was undeniably the best looking man in Philly, people probably considered him macho. But what most people don’t know about him was that he wasn’t afraid to show his emotion. Dutch always had a big hug and a kiss on the cheek for anyone of us who he was happy with. However, when someone needed to be stood up straight, he did it and you knew it. Maybe that’s why he kept me close, I don’t know, but I’m glad he did. When he walked in a room, or on the field, he commanded it. And let’s be honest, women loved Dutch. I think that a lot of baby boys were named after him, either Darren or Daulton, just to have a piece of him. Aside from his rock star looks, he had toughness and grit that was just in your face. Ten knee surgeries couldn’t keep him from putting on that gear. I believe he caught over 140 games that year. He was super human to me. With two bags of ice on both knees before every game, he set the tone for us players that year and probably for the rest of our careers. It’s pretty hard to go in and ask for a day off with a guy like that in the locker room. His drive and tenacity to grind out every game came from his love of the game, his teammates, the fans, and our beloved owner Bill Giles, affectionately known to us as “Uncle Bill”. The memories us teammates, the Phillies organization, and the fans that were along for that ride in ’93 have, are forever burned in our hearts and minds, we’ll never forget. The monumental impact he had on nearly all of them will never be erased and probably never duplicated. One of my favorite memories of Dutch was when, one of the many times, I walked the bases loaded in the ninth with a two-run lead. He comes to the mound just drenched in sweat; it was 104 degrees on the turf that day at the Vet. I’m thinking he’s fixing to yell in my face all the things that Kruky had been screaming at me from first base. He comes at me and says, ‘Are you done ****ing around? It’s hot out here and the beer is cold in the clubhouse- let’s go!’ Well, I got out of that trouble and we won the game. He always knew how to get the best out of me and all of his teammates. 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




Phillies catching legend Darren Daulton passes away at 55 of cancer

The Phillies have announced that Darren “Dutch” Daulton passed away today at the age of 55 after a four-year battle with brain cancer.

Funeral services for Darren will be private.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Darren Daulton  Foundation, 1339 Chestnut Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Born on January 3, 1962, Daulton attended Arkansas City (KS) High School. He was selected in the 25th round – the 628th overall selection – of the 1980 June draft by the Phillies. He developed into a three-time All-Star who played 14 seasons with the Phillies (1983; 1985-97), the longest tenure for a catcher in franchise history. Known throughout baseball as one of the game’s toughest players, Daulton made 143 starts at catcher in 1993, which was the most in Phillies history and tied for the most by any catcher that season. The Phillies won the National League pennant that year with Daulton’s leadership playing a significant role.

Darren Daulton (courtesy Philadelphia Phillies)

Daulton was traded to the Florida Marlins on July 21, 1997, where he would spend the final two and a half months of his playing career. The Marlins would go on to win the World Series that year and manager Jim Leyland credited Daulton’s clubhouse leadership as an important factor.

In 1992, Daulton won a Silver Slugger and led the National League with 109 RBI, becoming just the fourth catcher to win the RBI title. He is the only catcher in Phillies history with two 100-RBI seasons (109 in 1992 and 105 in 1993) and holds the Phillies single-season records for a catcher in walks (117), doubles (35), putouts (981) and double plays (19). Each record was set in 1993.

Daulton batted .245 in 1,109 Phillies games with 189 doubles, 134 home runs and 567 RBI.

Daulton received the Players Choice Comeback Player of the Year Award (1997)
and the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award (1997). He was inducted into the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame (1997). He was also selected as the starting catcher on the All-Vet Team (2003) and was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame (2010).

“Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership,” said Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles. “In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. He battled through five knee operations to become an All-Star. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him, I loved him like he was one of my own. In fact, he called me ‘Uncle Bill.’”

“All of us at the Phillies are saddened to hear of Darren’s passing. From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person,” said Phillies Chairman David Montgomery. “Darren was the face of our franchise in the early 1990′s. Jim Fregosi asked so much of him as catcher, clean-up hitter and team leader. He responded to all three challenges. One of my toughest decisions as team president was to approve his trade to the Marlins in July of 1997. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Amanda, his parents, his brother and his four children. Dutch was truly “one of a kind” and we will dearly miss him.”

Throughout most of his adult life, Darren resided in Clearwater, Fla. Starting in 2010, he spent the season in Philadelphia hosting a radio show on 97.5 The Fanatic, “Talking Baseball with Dutch,” five days a week. On July 1, 2013, he underwent surgery for resection of two brain tumors related to glioblastoma at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. It didn’t deter Dutch, who proclaimed, “Right on; Fight on,” typical of his toughness.

He established the Darren Daulton Foundation in 2011. In 2013, the foundation’s mission shifted to raise funds for brain cancer which claimed the lives of other Phillies including Johnny Oates, Ken Brett, Tug McGraw and John Vukovich.

“Dutch” is one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Phillies uniform. He is survived by his parents Carol and Dave of Arkansas City, Kansas; one brother, Dave Jr.; of Arkansas City, Kansas; his wife Amanda of Clearwater; and his four children Zachary (27), Summer (17), Savannah (16), Darren Jr. (15), all of whom reside in the Clearwater area.




Productive debut with Orioles has Tim Beckham being named American League Player of the Week

Tim Beckham in 2017 By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

After a stellar debut with the team, Baltimore Orioles infielder Tim Beckham has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 6th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Tim Beckham will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Other noteworthy performances last week included two-time MVP outfielder Mike Trout (.455, 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels; infielder Alex Bregman (.385, 7 R, 7 2B, 9 RBI) of the Houston Astros; 2017 All-Star Luis Severino (2-0, 1.54 ERA, 11.2 IP, 17 SO) of the New York Yankees; Texas Rangers teammates Elvis Andrus (.483, 14 H, 7 2B, 3 RBI) and Joey Gallo (5 R, 5 HR, 10 RBI, .880 SLG); utility man Eduardo Nuñez (.393, 11 H, 4 2B, 9 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox; All-Star outfielder Justin Upton (5 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI) of the Tigers; and closer Edwin Díaz (4 SV, 0.00 ERA, 6 SO) of the Seattle Mariners.

Beckham posted a slash line of .583/.600/1.167 with six runs scored, three doubles, a triple, three home runs and six RBI over six games played to earn his first career AL Player of the Week Award. Among AL leaders, Tim finished the period first in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases (28); tied for first in hits (14) and triples; tied for third in home runs; and tied for seventh in runs scored and doubles. This is Baltimore’s second weekly award this season, following Beckham’s All-Star teammate Jonathan Schoop, who claimed weekly honors two weeks ago for the period ending July 23rd.

Beckham, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31st, has tallied a hit in each game he has played for Baltimore, notching multi-hit efforts in five-of-six contests during his award-winning week. In his first game with the Orioles on Monday against the Kansas City Royals, the 27-year-old tallied a pair of hits and runs scored to help propel Baltimore to a 7-2 victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Beckham became the first player to log multiple hits and runs scored in his first career game with the Orioles after previously playing for a different Club that season since Brook Fordyce did so on July 30, 2000 against the Cleveland Indians. The first overall selection in the 2008 MLB Draft followed up his impressive first game by going 4-for-4 with a home run on Friday night against the Detroit Tigers. According to Elias, the Griffin, Georgia native became the only active player to log at least two hits in each of his first four games with his current team. In Saturday’s home tilt against Detroit at Camden Yards, Beckham clubbed his third round-tripper in as many days as part of his fifth consecutive multi-hit game. With the prolific output, the versatile infielder became the first player in the Modern Era (since 1900) to record 13 hits and three home runs in his first five games with a new Club. It was also the first time in Beckham’s four-year career that he registered three homers over any three-day span. In addition, Tim’s solo homer in the eighth inning was the 10,000th regular season home run in Orioles history (since 1954). The O’s became the fourth Club across the Majors to reach the 10,000-home run mark since 1954, joining the New York Yankees, Tigers and Boston Red Sox.




National League Player of the Week honors goes to Cubs catcher Willson Contreras

Willson Contreras in catching gear 2016 By Minda Haas Kuhlmann on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https

Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending August 6th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.435, 5 XBH, 11 RBI) of the Arizona Diamondbacks also posted an impressive week. In Thursday’s game against the Cubs, Goldschmidt recorded his first career three-home run game and collected six RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, joined by Willson’s six-RBI effort, the contest marked the first game since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 that each Club’s cleanup hitter tallied six-or-more RBI in a single game. Other noteworthy performances last week included All-Star first baseman Joey Votto (.474, 4 XBH, 7 RBI, 5 BB) of the Cincinnati Reds; newly acquired starting pitcher Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 10 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and second baseman César Hernández (.393, 6 R, 11 H, 3 SB) of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Willson Contreras will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Contreras batted .455 (10-for-22) with six runs scored, a double, five home runs and 13 RBI to claim his first career NL Player of the Week Award. Among his NL counterparts, Willson finished the period first in home runs, extra-base hits (6), RBI, total bases (26) and slugging percentage (1.182); second in batting average; tied for second in hits; tied for fourth in runs scored; and sixth in on-base percentage (.478). This is Chicago’s first Player of the Week Award this season, and Contreras is the first Cubs position player to take home weekly honors since his teammate and three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo on July 20, 2014.

On Thursday afternoon against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, Contreras went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and six RBI. The multi-homer output was the second of his career, while the six RBI established a new career best. The Puerto Cabello, Venezuela native continued his impressive week with another multi-hit performance on Saturday against the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old clubbed his 19th round-tripper on the season and plated three runs in Chicago’s 7-4 victory over the Nationals. In Chicago’s final game of the week yesterday against Washington, Willson logged his second multi-homer game over a four-game span (third career), reaching 21 home runs on the campaign. The sophomore slugger became the sixth Cubs backstop since 1901 to notch 20 home runs in a single season, joining Geovany Soto (2008), Rick Wilkins (1993), Jody Davis (1983, 86), Dale Long (1958) and Gabby Harnett (1925, 30, 34), who is the only catcher in team history to accomplish the feat in three seasons. Since the All-Star break, Contreras has slashed .346/.414/.782 with 15 runs scored, 27 hits, four doubles, 10 home runs and 29 RBI across 20 games played. Among all Major League hitters since the All-Star break, Willson enters play today first in RBI and slugging percentage, and tied for first in home runs (also Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton). Led in large part by their young catcher’s hot bat, the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs now sit atop the NL Central with a 58-52 (.527) record.





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