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My Favorite San Francisco Giants Player: Brett Butler

A new series from Around the Foghorn allows each author to take a look at their favorite player in San Francisco Giants history. We’ll let them take it away, from Lamarr Fields

I started watching Baseball in the late 1980s; I grew up a San Francisco Giants fan as most of my family did. My aunt worked for then owner for the Giants Bob Lurie. My family and I went to a lot of Giants games. For some reason as a kid i took a liking to Brett Butler, he became my favorite Giants player when i was a young kid. To this day i do not know why. Maybe because he was the first player i saw bat for the Giants, i don’t know, but he was my favorite.

Brett Butler signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent in 1987 from the Cleveland Indians. In his first season in San Francisco Butler batted  .287 with nine home runs, he also added 163 hits and 43 stolen bases.

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In 1989 Butler helped lead the Giants to the World Series where they fail short to the Oakland Athletics in four games. That season Butler batted 283 with four home runs and 31 stolen bases. Butler was the table setter for a team that featured first baseman Will Clark and National League MVP Kevin Mitchell.

In 1990 Butler had his best season with the Giants. Butler batted .309 with 192 hits and 51 stolen bases, second most of his career. The Giants finished 1990 with an 85-77 record good for third in the national league west. 1990 was Butler’s final season with the Giants.

Butler signed with the hated Los Angeles Dodgers before the1991 as a free agent. The Giants decided to sign outfielder Willie McGee to a four year $13 million contract.

The Giants did not believe that Brett Butler was worth the same amount of money as Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell. The Giants President at the time AL Rosen said: ” we pay home run hitters.”

When the Giants did not bring Butler back i was not happy at all; i remember in 1991 my mom and I went to a Giants-Dodgers game with my mom’s church group. During the game, i was cheering for the Dodgers because i was upset because Butler was not on the Giants. I know i should be ashamed of myself for cheering for the Dodgers but you have to forgive me i was only eight at the time.

I remember Butler as an excellent leadoff man, who played excellent centerfield. He was really good at slap hitting and bunting.

Butler played 17 seasons for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants. New York Mets, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He fished his career with a .290 lifetime batting average, 2,375 hits, and 558 stolen bases. Butler also had an outstanding fielding percentage of .992.

 

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