Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton dies after battle with cancer

Former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Darren Daulton has died after a four-year battle with brain cancer, the team announced. He was 55.

Daulton, nicknamed “Dutch,” spent 14 seasons as the Phillies’ catcher. After failing to provide much offense early in his career, Daulton eventually turned himself into an All-Star hitter. In 1992, he hit .270/.385/.524 over 585 plate appearances. He drove in a league-leading 109 runs, earning his first trip to the All-Star Game and winning his first Silver Slugger. Daulton finished sixth in MVP voting that year.

He followed that up with another strong season, reaching the All-Star Game for the second year in a row. Daulton finished seventh in MVP voting in 1993 and helped propel the Phillies to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Daulton dealt with injuries the next two years, but performed well when healthy. He hit .300 in just 69 games in 1994, and made his final All-Star team in 1995.

Daulton left the game a winner. After starting his 14th and final season with Philadelphia in 1997, he was traded to the Florida Marlins, who would go on to win the World Series over the Cleveland Indians in seven games. Daulton hit .389/.455/.667 during the series. He retired shortly after the Marlins won.

In 2010, Daulton began hosting a show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013.

In a statement Sunday, Phillies chairman Emeritus Bill Giles called Daulton a “true leader of men,” and spoke about his perseverance as a player.

“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.'”

The Phillies made Daulton a member of the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 2010.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!