- Brett Butler (baseball)
Infobox MLB retired
birthdate=birth date and age|1957|6|15
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants(by|1988-by|1990)
Los Angeles Dodgers((by|1991-by|1994), (by|1995-by|1997)
New York Mets(by|1995)
* All-Star selection (1991)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
Branch Rickey Award
Brett Morgan Butler (born
June 15, 1957in Los Angeles, California) is a former center fielderin Major League Baseballwho played for five different teams from 1981 to 1997.
Butler spent his teenaged years in
Libertyville, Illinois, where he was a reserve on the Libertyville High Schoolbaseball team that finished second in the Illinois state tournament, along with fellow teammate Robert Larsen. Upon graduating, he announced plans to play baseball in college, and his Libertyville High School coach, Ernie Ritta, scoffed. Butler, who had explored walking on at baseball powerhouse Arizona State, did manage to make the team at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
After attending Southeastern Oklahoma, Butler was drafted in the 23rd round of the 1979 amateur draft by the
Atlanta Braves. The Braves were building a contender with players like Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, and Glenn Hubbard after years of losing, but they lacked a leadoff hitterwith speed. Butler gave them just that. After playing in the minor leagues, he made his major league debut with the Braves on August 20, 1981. Butler helped lead the Braves to a 13-0 start and the National League West Division title in 1982, their first division title since 1969. He had another fine year with the Braves in 1983, but they finished second in the West to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In October 1983, Butler was sent to the
Cleveland Indians(along with Brook Jacobyand Rick Behenna) to complete a deal in which the Braves had acquired Len Barkerfor cash toward the end of the 1983 season. In 1984, he became the first batter Roger Clemenswould face in the big leagues. He played with the Indians for four seasons, batting a career-high .311 in 1985.
Butler signed with the
San Francisco Giantsas a free agent in 1987 and established himself as one of the premier leadoff hitters in the National League. He helped the Giants to the NL pennant in 1989, being the leadoff hitter in a potent lineup that included Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, and Matt Williams.
Following the 1990 season, Butler signed a contract with
Los Angeles Dodgers. As a member of the Dodgers from 1991-1995, Butler reached the prime of his career. In his first year as a Dodger (1991), Butler earned a roster spot on the National League All-Star team, and finished 7th in MVP voting. During the 1995 season, Butler was signed as a free agent by the New York Mets. In August 1995, Butler rejoined the Dodgers in a trade for Dwight Manees, and Scott Hunter. After finishing the season with the Dodgers, he again became a free agent and returned to the Dodgers.
In May 1996, Butler learned that he was suffering from
Squamous cell carcinomaof the tonsils, a type of cancer which only rarely involves the tonsils. Following an operation to remove the tumor, and intensive treatment to combat the disease, he returned to the Dodgers' lineup in September of the same year--defying the predictions of those who had speculated he would never be able to play again. [cite web | title=Sports Figures | publisher=Oral Cancer Foundation | url=http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/people/sports_figures.htm | accessdate=2007-09-18] Butler finished the 1996 season with the Dodgers and played with them for one more year, participating in his final game on September 28, 1997.
Throughout his career, Butler averaged a .290 batting average, compiled over 2,000 hits, and stole 558 bases. Many consider him to be one of the best leadoff hitters of the 1980s and early 1990s, due to his high on-base percentage, speed and dynamic bunting.
Butler was a coach with the
Arizona Diamondbacksfor the 2005 season. He was hired to manage the Lancaster JetHawksof the class-A advanced club for the 2006 season. He was hired to manage the Mobile BayBearsa newly acquired Double-A team Arizona Diamondbacksfor the 2007 season.
Butler, a born-again Christian, has been active in a number of Christian and
Pro-Lifecauses. He lives in Phoenix, Arizonawith his wife Eveline and four children.
On April 24, 2006, Butler was hospitalized with chest pains after a
Lancaster JetHawksgame he managed. Butler apparently did not have a heart attack, and is undergoing further tests.
Butler returned to his coaching duties "after a week off due to a viral infection." [cite web | title=May 1, 2006 game recap | url=http://www.jethawks.com/news/game-recaps/view/?id=208]
On July 29th, 2007, Butler was hospitalized after suffering a mild
List of major league players with 2,000 hits
List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
List of Major League Baseball players with 500 stolen bases
List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
List of Major League Baseball triples champions
List of Major League Baseball players with 400 stolen bases
List of Major League Baseball triples records
*cite book | author=Brett Butler | title= | publisher=Thomas Nelson Inc. | year=1997 | id=ISBN 0-7852-7144-9
* [http://www.prolife.com/brettb.htm Pro-Life beliefs]
NAME= Butler, Brett
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Baseball player
DATE OF BIRTH=
June 15, 1957
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Los Angeles, California, United States
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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