Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1994 TOPPS BRETT BUTLER

NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, NA, GNATMAN! 
THE BACK MIGHT BE BETTER LOOKING THAN THE FRONT.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • Before having success as a stand-up comic, Brett Butler worked as a cocktail waitress. She was the star of the ABC television show Grace Under Fire from 1993-98 but was dismissed for erratic behavior stemming from ... Hold on, wrong Brett Butler. Damn Wikipedia listed the actress first.
  • A nice action shot of one of the true nice guys to play the game. He put together some impressive seasons as a quintessential leadoff hitter.
  • The autograph came in the mid-'90s in spring training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach.
  • The '94 set continues to grow on me.

THE BACK PAGE

  • What's better looking: the front or the back?
  • Sharp and colorful design, one of Topps' better efforts. Clean typeface that's pleasing to the eye, and the red league-leader notation is cool.

PHOTO PLAY

  • This photo screams "slap hitter,'' which of course little Brett was. He was the epitome of an annoying buzzing insect to pitchers. He also was an exceptional bunter.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • How appropriate that a player named Brett Butler would be drafted by the Atlanta Braves? 
  • Butler played a major role in the Braves' '82 NL West championship, in which they started the season 13-0.
  • Traded to the Indians in '83 in a package deal that netted Len Barker, who threw a perfect game in '81.
  • The Giants signed him as a free agent for '88, and the next year he helped lead them to the World Series.
  • Signed with the Dodgers after the '90 season and had his best season in '91, making his first and only All-Star team and finishing seventh in MVP voting.
  • He stole 38 bases in '91 but his success rate was only 58 percent after being caught 28 times. 
  • Hit a career-high .314 in the strike-shortened '94 season. 
  • He would play in Toronto and with the Mets in '95 before returning to the Dodgers later that season. 
  • Butler receive a major heath scare in May 1996 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects the tonsils. After surgery and treatment, he returned to the Dodgers' lineup in September. 
  • Played his last game in '97, retiring with a .290 average, 2,375 hits, 558 steals and a .377 on-base percentage.
  • Butler was a minor-league manager for a time before he suffered a "mild'' stroke in '07. 
  • I can't remember the exact year I got the card autographed, but I do remember how incredibly nice he was to fans, posing for pictures, talking and actually listening. I also remember how small he was, not a whole hell of lot bigger than me. 

1 comment:

  1. Behavior stemming from what? What! I need to know! Where do I look! Wikiwhat?! Wikipedia? Oh. OK. BRB

    ReplyDelete