The ‘Phillies 50’ series position player entry from the 1999 team is a utility infielder who actually appeared in 99 games with that team, the most of any player selected to the series thus far.
Remember, the purpose of the series is to shine a light on those who combined impact with each particular Phillies team from 1971-2019 along with a minimal career as a player in Major League Baseball.
The 1999 Phillies were the best of the four managed by Terry Francona between 1997-2000. They won 77 games and finished in third place in the National League East Division that year. For a losing ball club their roster included an unusual number of veterans.
Seven players on that 1999 team appeared in fewer games than utility infielder David Doster. However, all of those players had a longer career in MLB, most significantly longer.
Doster’s 1999 campaign was one of just two in his big-league career. He had been the Phillies selection in the 27th round of the 1993 MLB Amateur Draft out of Indiana State University.
Over the next three years Doster would win a championship with Double-A Reading in 1995 as he rose through the minor league system. Then from mid-June through early-August 1996 at age 25, Doster received his first taste of big-league action.
Doster’s first career hit came during his first game on June 16, 1996 at Coors Field in Denver against the host Colorado Rockies. He singled with two outs in the top of the 5th inning off right-hander Kevin Ritz to drive home Glenn Murray with the first Phillies run of the game.
Sent back to the minors, Doster would be called up once again when rosters expanded in September of 1996. That would be his last opportunity with the Phillies for three years.
After spending the entirety of the 1997 and 1998 campaigns with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Doster finally made his first Opening Day lineup with the 1999 Phillies. He would get to experience that entire season living the big-league life.
For the 1999 season, Doster slashed .196/.282/.309 and produced three home runs, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored, and one stolen base. He appeared in 77 games at second base, though he made just seven starts there. Doster also appeared in a half-dozen games at third base and five at shortstop, three of those games at short as the starter.
Given that many opportunities you are bound to have at least one shining moment. For Doster that came on Wednesday afternoon May 12, 1999 at Busch Stadium in Saint Louis. That day he played the entire game at second base and delivered two hits and drew a walk. One of those hits was a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the 6th inning off lefty Darren Oliver that pushed the Phillies on top by 5-4 in a game they would win 8-4 behind a Curt Schilling complete game.
Doster would never get another shot with the big club. He played the entire 2000 season back at Triple-A. Then in 2001 he went overseas, playing at age 30 for Yokohama in Japan’s Central League. Returning to the states for 2002 he signed back with the Phillies and spent the entire season back at Scranton-Wilkes Barre, becoming an International League All-Star that year.
Over the next few years he would bounce through the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations and the Mexican League before calling it quits as a player at age 34. In retirement, Doster has worked as a color commentator with his hometown A-level Fort Wayne Tincaps in the San Diego Padres organization and as an instructor with an area baseball/softball training center.