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Putting anyone ahead of Harry Kalas is difficult, and in the long run, I just couldn't do it. Harry was the voice of the organization and his leadership spanned nearly 40 years. However, it was hard to ignore this man, Darren Daulton, so we'll call it a tie for first place.
The 1993 version of the Philadelphia Phillies were an interesting bunch, no doubt. Nothing they did looked easy, what with their beer guts and mullets. They weren't supposed to win. Looking back, it isn't too hard to draw comparisons between the '93 Phillies and the Cleveland Indians led by Jack Taylor and Ricky Vaughn in Major League.
At the end of the day, they were just a bunch of free spirits. Lenny Dykstra was always kind of crazy, Dave Hollins was an interesting third baseman, to say the least, and Mitch Williams pitched the ninth inning like his pants were literally on fire—all the time.
How could a team that closely resembled a band of misfits ever succeed without some kind of glue to hold the pieces together?
Well, that glue was Daulton. Drafted by the Phillies out of high school in 1980, Daulton tore up the Minor Leagues before joining the big league club a few seasons later. He was eased into the starting catcher's role, and when he took it, the only thing that forced him to give it up was a slew of injuries.
On the field, Daulton had one of his greatest seasons in '93, when he posted an OPS of .875 and led the Phillies to the World Series. On the defensive side of the ball, he helped turn an average pitching staff into an asset.
People made no bones about Daulton's leadership, especially in the clubhouse, calling him "the greatest clubhouse leader the Phillies have ever had."
He's right up there with Harry Kalas, that's for certain.