Beloved former Phillies All-Star catcher Darren Daulton returned to the airwaves Thursday to thank fans for their support ahead of his first public appearance after undergoing brain cancer surgery.
“Thanks to everybody, the fans are just phenomenal right now,” Daulton told 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli.
Daulton's voice sounded like it normally does as he spoke about his experiences, his return to the area, his struggles and the Phillies current woes.
Daulton, who hosted “Talking Baseball With Dutch” on The Fanatic right up until his diagnosis, thanked all the fans for the support during his battle against Glioblastoma, otherwise known as "GBM."
“Dutch” as many Phillies fans call him, underwent surgery last month in Philadelphia as doctors removed two brain tumors. Since then, Dutch has been recovering in Florida.
He is excited to return to Philly today to be with Phillies fans this weekend as the 1993 National League Championship team, of which Dutch was an unquestioned leader, is honored at Citizens Bank Park.
“I enjoy being with the fans so I’m glad to be back and be a part of this,” the three-time All-Star said.
Daulton, who spent most of his 14 year career with the Phigtins, is hoping to participate in Sunday’s 20th anniversary ceremony for the 1993 team. He also could be there as former NL championship teammate Curt Schilling joins Dutch in the Phillies Wall of Fame Friday night. He is expected to address the media before Friday's game.
Missanelli hinted that the fan’s love for Dutch could have played a role in Daulton appearing this weekend.
“You know you’ve been here forever too, it’s like family, it’s really like my family now,” Daulton said. “It’s good to be back in Philly.”
Daulton said he is keeping optimistic with the help of his supporters.
“This thing is going to work out, I know that, and I feel great right now.”
Daulton said he recently started exercising again as he works his way back to normal.
“I feel great physically,” he said.
He is still, however, dealing with some issues from the brain surgery.
“I have a little bit of trouble talking,” Daulton said.
He also said he sometimes becomes forgetful while speaking with family members and he even said he was having trouble talking at times during Thursday’s interview.
But Daulton is staying positive despite his struggles.
“It’s OK, I’m going to be a lot better and I’m going to be right back to perfect again.”
He also promised that he will be there for his own golf tournament next month at Lulu Country Club. And, if fans want to help out Dutch, The Fanatic is selling “#RightOnFightOn” T-shirts for $20 with proceeds going to help cover Daulton’s unpaid medical expenses.
He also said he is hoping to grab some Yuengling Light Lagers with fans this weekend. So raise a glass if you run into Dutch.