- CF, LF, OF, RF, DH
- June 15, 1957
- 5' 10"
- 160 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 8-20-1981 with ATL
- Allstar Selections:
- 1996 BRA, 1996 LG
The best bunter of his generation, physically, Brett Butler was far from intimidating, but his speed and skills on the diamond were valuable for every team he played for. A leadoff batter, Butler swiped 558 bases (125 or more for three different teams), and walked more than he struck out. He hit .300 or higher five times, and scored 90 or more runs in eight straight seasons. he led the National League in triples for the second straight season at the age of 38, and overcame throat cancer to play until he was 40 years old.
It's difficult to choose one best season for Butler. He set a career-high with 192 hits in 1990, hit a personal-best .314 for the Dodgers in '94, and scored 112 runs in 1991 for LA. In '88, in a down year for offense, Butler hit .287 with 97 walks, 43 stolen bases, 109 runs scored, and played his usual solid defense in center field.
Brett Butler is the only player to lead the National League in singles in four consecutive seasons (1990-1993).
June 5, 1979: Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 23rd round of the 1979 amateur draft. ,br> October 21, 1983: Sent by the Atlanta Braves to the Cleveland Indians to complete an earlier deal made on August 28, 1983. The Atlanta Braves sent players to be named later and $150,000 to the Cleveland Indians for Len Barker. The Atlanta Braves sent Rick Behenna (September 2, 1983), Brett Butler (October 21, 1983), and Brook Jacoby (October 21, 1983) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade. Braves' owner Ted Turner, who was a huge fan of Butler's tried to negate this deal a few day after it was announced, and tried to remove Butler from the swap, to no avail. Cleveland manager Pat Corrales said of the trade: "When [GM] Phil Seghi first mentioned to me that Butler was coming here, I didn't believe Atlanta would be willing to give him up." Turner never succeeded in luring Butler back to Atlanta.
Bunting and range in the outfield.
His throwing arm, and power.
A born-again Christian, Butler was slender (5'10", 160 pounds) with deep, dark eyes, and thick brown hair. He slapped the ball into the ground and beat out more infield hits than just about anyone during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Led the league in singles four times, in runs twice, in hits once, in triples four times, walks once, and sacrifice hits once. He never led his league in steals, but finished in the top ten 13 times. Basestealing did not come natural to Butler, however. He credited Pat Corrales with helping him learn to get a good lead and to steal bags. Early in his career, Butler was often picked off the bases, and was thrown out 23 times attempting to steal in his last season with Atlanta... Butler was a player rep for the Players' Union on several of his teams.
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- Brett Butler