While the Yanks were off yesterday, MLB lost two former players as Don Baylor and Darren Daulton each passed away to various forms of cancer.
Baylor, 68, won the AL MVP in 1979 while playing for the Angels. He hit .296-36-139 that season, leading the Angels to the ALCS where they lost to the Orioles. He led the majors in RBI and runs scored that year, and the AL in games played. It was his only All-Star season, despite a fine career. He also finished in the top 10 for MVP the year before, in 1978, a year when he led the league in SF. He got MVP consideration five times.
He played in the majors from 1970-1988 with the Orioles, A’s, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, and A’s. Although he wasn’t there long, only 20 games at the end of the year, he got a ring with the 1987 Twins when they won the WS over the Cardinals.
He also helped the 1973 and 1974 Orioles to the postseason (where they lost to the A’s both years), as well as the 1982 Angels (lost to the Brewers), the 1986 Red Sox (lost WS to Mets) and the 1988 A’s (lost WS to Dodgers).
With the Yankees from 1983-1985, he posted
1983: .303-21-85 17 SB OPS+ 138, Silver Slugger
1984: .262-27-89 OPS+ 131
1985: .231-23-91 OPS+ 109 Silver Slugger
He hit .260 in his career, with 338 HR. His 162 g. average was .260-24-90, 20 SB, OPS+ 118. He even stole 52 bases for the 1976 A’s, finishing with 285 for his career. A batter who crowded the plate, he led the league in getting HBP 8x in his career. He got HBP a total of 267 times. Primarily a DH, he also played LF, RF, 1B and even a little CF in his career.
In 38 postseason games, he hit .273-4-21.
He later became a MLB manager for the Rockies (1993-1998) and Cubs (2000-2002), winning Mgr. of the Year in 1995 when the Rockies won the Wild Card. They lost the Division Series in four games. His managerial record was 627-689, .476. That averages out to a 77-95 season.
Also passing away was Darren Daulton, 55, who played 14 seasons, mostly with the Phillies. He played 1983, 1995-1997 with them and finished his career with the 1997 Marlins, earning a ring with them when they beat Cleveland in the WS. In Daulton’s 14 seasons, only five times did he play in 100 or more games, due to being a backup or because of injuries.
His best years were 1992-1994. In 1992 he led the NL in RBI. A 3x All-Star, he finished 6th in MVP voting in 1992 and 7th in 1993 when the Phils won the pennant but lost the WS to Toronto.
He hit .245 in his career with 137 HR. His 162 g. average was .245-19-82, OPS+ 114. Mostly a catcher, he did play a little LF, RF and 1B, and DH’d in a few games. He hit .281-3-10 in 22 postseason games.
Before the trade deadline, there were rumors about maybe the Yanks getting Yonder Alonso from the A’s to play 1B. Alonso was dealt from the A’s to the Mariners the other day.