“All of us at the Phillies are saddened to hear of Darren’s passing. From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person,” said Phillies Chairman David Montgomery.
Daulton is survived by his wife Amanda, his brother Dave Jr. and his four children. Read on to learn more about them, and the rest of Daulton’s family.
1. He & His Brother Dave Jr. Were Rivals Growing Up
Darren Arthur Daulton was born on January 3, 1962 to Dave and Carol Daulton. In the book Macho Row: The 1993 Phillies and Baseball’s Unwritten Code, the Daulton patriarch recounts what it was like for his son to grow up with his brother, Dave Jr. “Darren and Dave Junior got into it all the time,” he said, explaining how “Junior was two years older and had to work pretty hard at school and sports, but those things came naturally for Darren. So they were bitter rivals growing up.”
One night, Dave Sr. recalls, Dave Jr. got so mad at his little brother that he chased him around the little league field in his ’65 Mustang. They were subsequently hauled down to the local police station and had to be bailed out by their parents. On another occasion, Daulton instigated a fight with Dave Jr. “It was the dumbest thing I ever did,” he said, “Junior punched me in the face.”
Macho Row author William C. Kashatus adds that once Daulton left home to pursue a baseball career, he and his brother squashed their rivalry. They remained close friends until Daulton’s death.
2. His First Wife Lynne Austin Was a Playboy Model
Lynne Austin is a model and actress who started her career in the 1980s. She was chosen as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in July 1986, and has since appeared in numerous Playboy videos. According to Boca Raton News, Austin and Daulton met while one of her friends was dating a minor league player. They began dating in February 1989, and were married later that year.
“It’s a lot of stress, being married to baseball,” Austin told Boca Raton News, “I’m really proud of Darren, I love him to death. I think it must be the biggest thrill in the world to want something since you were 7 years old, and then be able to fulfill it.” Austin added “But I never get to see my husband. I’m jealous of baseball.”
Daulton and Austin divorced in 1995. “It’s unfortunate, but these things happen,” Austin told Reading Eagle, before alluding to rumors of Daulton’s infidelity. “These guys get all this fame and fortune, what are you gonna do?”
3. His Second Wife Nicole Garcia Accused Him of Battery & Assault in 2003
According to Philadelphia magazine, Daulton was arrested on battery charges and accused of abusing his second wife, Nicole Garcia, during an argument. In 2004, a year after Daulton reportedly refused to a legal agreement regarding their subsequent divorce, he was arrested again and sentenced to two and a half months in jail. He was also forced to serve an additional two and a half months in rehab.
“I’ve been thrown in jail five or six times,” Daulton told Sports Illustrated in 2006. “Nicole thinks I’m crazy. She blames everything on drugs and drinking… It got very, very lonely there for a while.” Daulton and Nicole eventually divorced in 2006, after nine years of marriage.
4. He Had 4 Children from His 3 Marriages
Daulton’s oldest son Zachary was born in 1990. According to Boca Raton News, Zachary was 10 days overdue, and Daulton was rushing to get to the hospital given that he was born in the middle of the baseball season. Lynne Austin even requested she get a Demerol so that the birth could be slowed down and given Daulton a chance to arrive in time.
Fortunately, he did, and was present to change his son’s first diaper. Less than 24 hours later, Boca Raton reports that Daulton was back on the road. Zachary’s Facebook page has him listed under the name Zachary Ryan, and while it is unlisted as to what his profession is, there are several photos of him in firefighter gear.
Daulton had three additional children with his second wife Nicole. They welcomed daughters Summer Daulton in 2000 and Savannah Daulton in 2001, respectively, and son Darren Daulton II in 2002. He did not have any children with his third wife, Amanda Dick.
5. He Claimed That His Personal Demons Shaped His Personal Life Over the Years
Daulton’s life was fueled by controversy, including the aforementioned battery accusations, car accidents, arrests on DUI and speeding charges, battle with addictions, and estrangement from his children. In an interview with Philadelphia magazine in 2010, Daulton stated that his personal demons were to blame for these issues, and not those who have loved and supported him.
“There’s probably no one in any sport that has taken more drugs than I have,” he said, “Anything I did in the past is my fault, Not my ex-wife’s fault. Not any of my kids’ faults. Not baseball. Not the media. I did the damage.”
“Sometimes I look back at my life, and I see all the baseball I played, the all-star games, the World Series, how I helped some guys in the clubhouse, how great my kids are, some of the nice things I’ve done for people along the way,” Daulton told Philadelphia magazine, “and I think maybe I’m doing OK, that maybe things aren’t so bad, just maybe I’m not so crazy after all.”