Daulton was the heartbeat of that rowdy, irascible group, one of those rare collections of players who form a deep and lasting connection with their fans despite losing in the end. Like the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers, the 1984 Chicago Cubs and the 1995 Seattle Mariners, those Phillies reached a peak for a franchise more used to valleys.
The Phillies lost the World Series to Toronto in six games. The final pitch never found Daulton’s glove. Joe Carter, the Blue Jays slugger, drove it over the left-field fence to win the title.
It was an oddly fitting end to the Phillies’ story. The Blue Jays, defending champions with three Hall of Famers, had far more talent. Clearly, the better team won. Yet the Phillies crashed and burned in a way that only they could. This was not a group destined to simply fade away.
“After that team, for all of us, baseball changed forever,” starter Curt Schilling said on Monday. “It’s…