john kruk

John Kruk gets lost in hotels on an 'almost nightly' basis on road trips


John Kruk gets lost in hotels on an 'almost nightly' basis on road trips

John Kruk has spent a lot of time in hotels as a player and broadcaster.

But he still somehow gets lost almost every time he ventures into a new hotel. 

“You would think that I would be able to find my hotel room after doing it so many times as a player,” Kruk said. “It is almost nightly where I have absolutely no idea whether I turn left or right outside of the elevator. The guys laugh a ton at me but they have helped me find my room on occasion and I try to follow them in the hotel.”

In the latest episode of CSNPhilly's Krukcast podcast, Kruk dives into what life on the road is like with Tom McCarthy, Larry Andersen, Gregg Murphy, Ben Davis and Scott Franzke and how each member of the Phillies' broadcast team has their own assumed role.

“We kind of have jobs when we are in the room together,” Kruk said. “I like to sweep and clean up the messes I make, Andersen likes to iron, (Murphy) has the products if we forget something. Someone once came in the room to sit and didn’t say a word but said we should be a reality show because we are half nuts.”

“(McCarthy) is the big brother of the group. He watches out for all of us and if you know anything about any of us, we need to be watched over. He is the one who sends out what shirts we wear on a daily basis. He organizes the golf on the road and you couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s like having your own personal secretary.”

To hear about life on the road, Kruk’s reasons against sightseeing, the crew’s adventures on the golf course and more, click below for the full podcast.

Mitch Williams on Darren Daulton: 'He was the captain of our chaos'

Mitch Williams on Darren Daulton: 'He was the captain of our chaos'

A host of former Phillies shared fond memories Monday morning after the passing Sunday of former catcher Darren Daulton. 

Daulton was beloved in this area not just for his success on the field and impact on the 1993 Phillies, but also for his big, warm personality.

Lenny Dykstra called Daulton the "toughest" player he ever played with. Mitch Williams called him "the captain of our chaos."

The respect and admiration Daulton's teammates have for him jumps off the page when you read what some of them had to say.

Lenny Dykstra
"I played with several tough dudes in my career, but Dutch was the toughest. He was the unquestionable leader of our magical 1993 Phillies team that went from last to first, thereby energizing the city of Philadelphia. His unrelenting toughness had a dramatic effect on the mindset with which we all played. 

"Much of Dutch's career was spent in Philadelphia, whereby the team often finished at or near the bottom of the standings. However, that all changed in 1993! We had a feeling in spring training, that something was different that year, and that feeling proved to be right. Our motley crew of characters, given virtually no chance by the prognosticators, swaggered our way to the World Series. Dutch was always the rock the guy who steadied the ship. Jim Fregosi entrusted him to keep us focused and together. Dutch did not disappoint.  

"It's ironic that I am now sharing my memories during this sad time. The reality is that Dutch couldn't stand me, a common feeling amongst many of those who were not my teammates, early in my career. Nonetheless, when I was traded to the Phillies, we became brothers almost immediately. While he had been with the Phillies for a few years, he became a starter in 1989. Within a year, John Kruk, Dave Hollins and I had all joined the team. Catchers characteristically are the 'coach on the field.' Dutch was more than that. He was our anchor and our leader; ensuring that our focus was always between the lines when we played.  His stewardship and incredible toughness were the inspiration for that magical year in 1993, when we put it all together, and made baseball fun again in Philly. It was a privilege to have played with him, and to have known him. I will miss him."

Mitch Williams
"I believe he was truly loved on a different level than most. He was the Captain of our chaos, the most respected player amongst his peers, and those great players who came before him. He was our rock, our leader in that clubhouse of guys in 1993. He, of course, was first locker on Macho Row — I don't even know how it got the name, but I was fortunate enough to locker next to him, followed by Pete "Inky" Incaviglia, Lenny "Nails" Dykstra, and John "Kruky" Kruk. I say this because while he was undeniably the best looking man in Philly, people probably considered him macho. But what most people don't know about him was that he wasn't afraid to show his emotion. Dutch always had a big hug and a kiss on the cheek for anyone of us who he was happy with. However, when someone needed to be stood up straight, he did it and you knew it. Maybe that's why he kept me close, I don't know, but I'm glad he did. 

"When he walked in a room, or on the field, he commanded it. And let's be honest, women loved Dutch. I think that a lot of baby boys were named after him, either Darren or Daulton, just to have a piece of him. Aside from his rock star looks, he had toughness and grit that was just in your face. Ten knee surgeries couldn't keep him from putting on that gear. I believe he caught over 140 games that year. He was super human to me. With two bags of ice on both knees before every game, he set the tone for us players that year and probably for the rest of our careers. It's pretty hard to go in and ask for a day off with a guy like that in the locker room. His drive and tenacity to grind out every game came from his love of the game, his teammates, the fans, and our beloved owner Bill Giles, affectionately known to us as "Uncle Bill." 

"The memories us teammates, the Phillies organization, and the fans that were along for that ride in '93 have, are forever burned in our hearts and minds, we'll never forget. The monumental impact he had on nearly all of them will never be erased and probably never duplicated. One of my favorite memories of Dutch was when, one of the many times, I walked the bases loaded in the ninth with a two-run lead. He comes to the mound just drenched in sweat; it was 104 degrees on the turf that day at the Vet. I'm thinking he's fixing to yell in my face all the things that Kruky had been screaming at me from first base. He comes at me and says, 'Are you done ****ing around? It's hot out here and the beer is cold in the clubhouse — let's go!' Well, I got out of that trouble and we won the game. He always knew how to get the best out of me and all of his teammates. 

"Bubba, I will miss you. I will miss laughing with you and reliving all those memories from that glorious year. I will miss your big smile, open arms, with you calling out to me "Pooh" on Alumni weekends. The only comfort I feel today is that Fregosi and Vuk will be waiting for you at the gates of heaven, with a cold beer ready, and talk of how the Phils are doing. Vuk will want to know who to put the freeze on. Harry and Whitey will have the call, 'Look at who is coming to the gate, the Captain, #10, Darren "Dutch" Daulton!' There will be a standing ovation and Harry will lead all of our dearly departed Phillies family in his signature rendition of 'High Hopes!' Love you Dutch-Godspeed, and don't give my locker to anybody else or I'm gonna be pissed!" 

John Kruk
"The first time I saw Darren Daulton we are playing against each other in Triple A and I thought he was just another ordinary player. When I was traded to the Phillies I realized that he was so much more than that. The culture of the Phillies at that time had to change and Darren led the charge for us becoming a championship caliber team, and while doing so he not only became a leader and a friend we became brothers. I will always be grateful for him putting us on his back and carrying us to the World Series. He taught us so much along the way that I will always be indebted to him for that. I love you brother!"

Ed Wade
"Leadership isn't manufactured or contrived. You either have it or you don't. Darren exuded leadership on the field, in the clubhouse, throughout the organization and in public. The likes of Darren Daulton come along very infrequently."

Curt Schilling
"Heart and soul. Those are the two words that define Darren Daulton as a human being and as a member of the Phillies 1993 team.  In my 22 years of baseball, I have never been privileged enough to be around a man who led anywhere near as well as Dutch did.  He was perfect in that role in every sense of the word. From Hollywood looks to never EVER saying the wrong thing, he led us on and off the field. I am forever grateful to call him a friend and a teammate. God blessed me enough to allow me to be around men who changed my life and I'll be forever thankful Dutch was one of those men. God Bless Dutch, now the fastball down and away." 

Jim Leyland
"Darren was one of the toughest players to every play the game."

David Montgomery
"From the day that we drafted him until today, he constantly earned our respect and admiration as both a player and person.  Darren was the face of our franchise in the early 1990's. Jim Fregosi asked so much of him as catcher, cleanup hitter and team leader. He responded to all three challenges. One of my toughest decisions as team president was to approve his trade to the Marlins in July of 1997.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Amanda, his parents, his brother and his four children. Dutch was truly 'one of a kind' and we will dearly miss him."

How writing a song about Elena Delle Donne brought out John Kruk's emotional side

How writing a song about Elena Delle Donne brought out John Kruk's emotional side

Phillies fans think of John Kruk as the loveable first-basemen-turned-broadcaster known for calling it how he sees it. But who among us knew Kruk has a sensitive side that is brought out through the power of music?

On the second episode of his Krukcast podcast (subscribe here), Kruk talks about his passions and hobbies away from baseball. Golf has filled his desire for competition and has turned into an "obsession." He plays up to 4-5 times a week when he can. If he doesn't get out on the golf course regularly, it affects him. So much so that his family went to Disney and bought him a Grumpy t-shirt to wear when he hasn't played in a while.

But golf as a hobby for a former baseball player isn't all that surprising. What former pro athlete doesn't golf? It's Kruk's more recently discovered passion that is unique.

Kruk has found a calling for music that has taken him to creative places and brought out his emotional side.

He credits it to his West Virginia roots and some friends he's recently met.

"Eight or nine years ago I met these guys back in West Virginia who I had a lot in common with from the get-go," Kruk says. "The first time I ever met them it was like I’ve known them forever. They’re third or fourth generation musicians in West Virginia and are one of the most popular country bands in the State -- the Davisson brothers, Chris and Donnie."

Kruk found himself doing a local television show and the Davisson brothers were the musical guests. They hung out backstage where the guitars were strumming.

"Of course anybody who has a guitar from West Virginia knows how to play 'Almost Heaven.' Everyone who lives in West Virginia pretty much knows the words to 'Almost Heaven.' They're playing and they ask me to sing with them. So I'm singing. Next thing I know they're teaching me how to play it on the guitar and it just hit me. As soon as it happened it was just like, 'Wow. This is really, really cool.'"

Kruk teamed up with the Davisson brothers on some tunes for ESPN and his Baseball Tonight show. Then he started to dabble in doing some writing of his own.

But how in the world did John Kruk come to write a song about Delaware basketball legend Elena Delle Donne?

"An interesting thing happened. I'm on Twitter, not a lot, just enough. I read a story about Elena Delle Donne who is arguably the greatest female basketball player in the world. She went to UCONN for a day or so, ended up leaving because she wanted to come home. She has a sister Lizzie with special needs. She wanted to move back so she ended up going to Delaware."

"When I read her story about her and her sister, it just hit me. There's a song there to be written. So I called my buddies the Davisson brothers. I said, 'Man, we gotta write this song.'"

They all decided it would be a fun thing to write despite it being a very serious subject.

Kruk then reached out to Elena and her brother Gene and they started an email correspondence about what Lizzie meant to them. Lizze was born deaf and blind, with cerebral palsy and autism.

"Elena swore that her 6-foot-5 size, she got everything Lizzie didn't get and so she plays and lives for Lizzie," Kruk says. "When I read the story, it just hit me, how people become who they are because of circumstances in their life."

And Kruk needed to write a song about it.

Fast forward to MLB's winter meetings in Nashville where Kruk found himself in his hotel room with songwriter Ronnie Bowman. They read through the emails from the Delle Donnes and started writing.

"It turned out beautiful," Kruk said. "When we got done, I felt like I was in a room with a bunch of rock stars. [Ronnie] stood up and he threw down his guitar and he said, 'Boys, we got a No. 1 hit!'"

So they wrote a potential hit song but they had nobody to sing it. This was the hard part.

"We have to find someone who is up and coming, has a powerful voice; we all agreed it had to be a female because the song is about the love of two sisters."

Again, Twitter proved to be helpful (which is just amazing).

"A young lady followed me. I listened to her music. I listened to her sing and I thought maybe she could be the one," Kruk says.

And she just so happened to be from Philadelphia.

The singer was Audra Mclaughlin who was on Season 6 of The Voice and was on Team Blake.

"I've met with her a couple times here at the ball park. Her dad said, 'when she played that song, they both cried because it's a very emotional song.' I know people are saying, 'John Kruk and emotion?!' I've never been emotional until I had kids."

The goal now is to get Audra down to Nashville to get the song recorded and released in order to, of course, propel her on to stardom.

As for Kruk? He doesn't want you to think differently of him because he's got a soft side. He contains multitudes. 

"I blame the Davisson brothers for this because they brought this out of me."

"When I'm doing games that sensitivity goes out the window and I become that moronic ball player that lived and breathed everything Larry Bowa told me."

"I blame the Davisson brothers for being emotional and I'm gonna blame Larry Bowa for being that say-whatever-comes-to-your-mind type thing regardless of feelings."

Listen to the whole podcast below and subscribe here.