posted 8 years ago
Adversity seems drawn to Brett Butler, a man who overcame limited physical ability to play 17 productive seasons in the Major Leagues. His toughest battles, however, have been fought outside the foul lines, far away from the roar of the crowd.
On July 29, 2007, while managing Arizona's Double-A affiliate in Mobile, Ala., Butler lost his balance in the third-base coach's box. By the next morning, he was unable to get out of bed. Butler was stricken by a mild stroke of the cerebellum, a side effect, doctors told him, of the treatment he underwent for throat cancer 11 years earlier.
Butler, a devout Christian and married father of four, approached his recovery like every other hurdle he faced in life -- he leaped over it cleanly.
"My cup's always half-full," Butler said.
Now 51, Butler has returned to work with the Diamondbacks, for whom he serves as an outfield/baserunning coordinator. Making stops at every level, from rookie ball to Triple-A, he evaluates outfield play, baserunning and bunting. The rewards are many.
"In the Minor Leagues, you have kids who are willing to listen and learn," Butler said. "To give them the fundamentals and see them apply them, that's what I like about it. I'm giving back to the kids."