Miami Marlins History: Best Single-Season Hitters

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Jon Berti #55 of the Miami Marlins connects on a ninth inning base hit against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Jon Berti #55 of the Miami Marlins connects on a ninth inning base hit against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 1997: Darren Daulton #20 of the Florida Marlins. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images) /

Darren Daulton 1997: 114 OPS+

Mostly a catcher through the first 12-and-a-half seasons of his major league career, Darren Daulton played in 1,109 contests for the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting .245/.357/.427  with 134 dingers and 567 RBI between 1983 and 1997.

Daulton was a six-foot-two, 195 lb. left-handed batting righty-fielding catcher from Arkansas City, KS. Initially taken in the 25th round of the 1980 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Phillies, there was every indication that he would complete his career as a one-team player. A week before the trade-deadline in 1997, Philadelphia sent him to the Florida Marlins for Billy McMillion.

Daulton landed on a 56-41 team hot in the hunt for it’s first ever playoff berth. Although Daulton eventually would end up ranked 15th on the team with only 152 plate appearances over the final 52 games of the season, he proved an invaluable playoff veteran to a team mostly lacking such.

Daulton hit .262/.371/.429 with three homers and 21 RBI. Aged 35 during his time with Florida, his days of crouching behind the plate proved long-past. He spent most of his time at first base, where he put up a .984 fielding percentage in 247 innings of work.

On August 27, Daulton came in to play right field as a defensive replacement as the Marlins trailed the Chicago Cubs, 3-1 in the eighth inning. When he got his turn at the plate in the ninth, he drove Moises Alou and Gregg Zaun home with the game-tying and -winning runs, respectively.

After not appearing in the NLDS victory over the San Francisco Giants, and going just one-for-four in the NLCS win against the Atlanta Braves, Daulton went seven-for-18 playing in all seven games of the Marlins first World Series. He didn’t appear in professional ball after that, going out on top.

Sadly, Daulton passed away way too soon, succumbing to brain cancer in 2017.

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