Former Phillie Kim Batiste Dies at 52

Kim Batiste, a key player on the Phillies' 1993 National League Championship team, died Wednesday in his native Louisiana after complications from kidney surgery. He was 52.

The 1993 Phillies were a team of stars and big personalities, a team of character and characters. 

It was also a team that was supported by a group of role players who shined for an entire season and helped the club win the National League pennant.

So, for every Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Dave Hollins and Mitch Williams, there was a Milt Thompson, a Mickey Morandini, a Larry Andersen, a Mariano Duncan, a Jim Eisenreich, a Wes Chamberlain and a Pete Incaviglia lending a hand with a big hit, a big play or a big pitch.

Kim Batiste was another of those important role players who contributed to a season that is still cherished by Phillies fans.

Batiste died Wednesday in his native Louisiana after complications from kidney surgery. He was 52.

Batiste was an infielder, selected by the Phillies in the third round of the 1987 draft. He rose to the majors in 1991 and spent four of his five major league seasons with the Phillies. He finished his big-league career with the San Francisco Giants in 1996.

In 251 career games in the majors, Batiste hit .234 with 10 homers and 64 RBIs.

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His best season was 1993 when he hit .282 with five homers and 29 RBIs in 79 games, 35 of which were starts at either third base or shortstop.

The high point of Batiste's time with the Phillies came in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against Atlanta. He made a throwing error in the ninth inning that allowed the Braves to tie the game. An inning later, he stroked a double down the left-field line to score Kruk and give the Phillies the win in 10 innings.

"I remember the hit well," said Larry Bowa, who was coaching third base that night. "It went right by me. Kruk got a great jump and I waved him home. Big hit. Got us a big win. We were all so happy for Batty. He was a great teammate and a big part of that team."

After the hit, Batiste was mobbed by jubilant teammates and carried off the field while the huge Veterans Stadium crowd roared in approval.

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