Brian Butterfield

American baseball coach

Baseball player
Brian Butterfield
Brian Butterfield on September 1, 2011.jpg
Butterfield as third base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011
Third base coach
Born: (1958-03-09) March 9, 1958 (age 64)
Bangor, Maine
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Teams
As coach
  • New York Yankees (1994–1995)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (1998–2000)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (2002–2012)
  • Boston Red Sox (2013–2017)
  • Chicago Cubs (2018–2019)
  • Los Angeles Angels (2020–2021)
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series Champion (2013)
Butterfield with the Nashville Sounds in 1982

Brian James Butterfield (born March 9, 1958) is an American professional baseball coach, and a former minor league player, manager and infield instructor. He has coached for the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Early years

Born in Bangor, Maine, Butterfield is the son of the late Jack Butterfield, a longtime college baseball coach who was vice-president of player development and scouting for the New York Yankees from 1977 until his death in November 1979.[1] The younger Butterfield attended the University of Maine, where his father was head baseball coach from 1957 to 1974, and still resides in Orono, Maine. He also attended Valencia Community College and graduated from Florida Southern College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. In 1976, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he helped lead the team to the league title.[2] He is the nephew of College Football Hall of Fame Coach Jim Butterfield.

Playing career

During his active career, Butterfield was a second baseman in the Yankees' minor league system, playing for five seasons (1979–83) and batting .249 with one home run in 397 games played, largely at the full-season Class A level.[3] A switch hitter who threw right-handed, he was listed at 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 175 pounds (79 kg).[3]

Early coaching career

Butterfield's coaching career began during his professional playing days as a part-time assistant at Florida Southern (1979) and Eckerd College (1980–81). After his playing career ended, he became a roving infield instructor in the Yankees' organization, then a coach at different levels of the Bombers' farm system. He also managed the Short Season-A Oneonta Yankees (1989) and Class A Greensboro Hornets (1990) and Fort Lauderdale Yankees (1992), before joining the Major League staff of Yankees' manager Buck Showalter as first-base coach in 1994–95.

After he was replaced by Joe Torre as the Yankees' pilot after the 1995 season, Showalter was promptly named the first manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks, set to begin play during the 1998 National League season. Hired with two seasons to prepare for the team's debut, Showalter brought several Yankees' instructors with him to Phoenix, including Butterfield, to implement the Diamondbacks' player development program. Butterfield was named roving minor league infield instructor in 1996 and then, in 1997, manager of the D-backs' Rookie-level team, the Arizona League Diamondbacks. Butterfield then became the first third-base coach in the Diamondbacks' Major League history, serving under Showalter in 1998–2000.

After Showalter's firing following the 2000 season, Butterfield returned to the Yankees as a minor league manager, helming the Tampa Yankees of the Class A Florida State League (2001) and beginning 2002 as manager of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers of the International League. However, the Clippers got off to a poor, 12–25 start and Butterfield was fired on May 16, 2002.[4]

Less than three weeks later, on June 3, 2002, Carlos Tosca, a coaching colleague of Butterfield's with the Diamondbacks, was appointed manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. He hired Butterfield as his third-base coach, beginning a 10+12-year tenure for Butterfield in Toronto.[5] During that time, Butterfield served under four different Blue Jay managers.

Infield coaching career

Butterfield has earned a reputation throughout baseball as a premier infield coach.[6][7] Orlando Hudson, who was recognized as one of the best defensive second baseman in baseball during his 11-year MLB career, and winner of the Gold Glove Award in 2005 and 2006, has stated that Butterfield deserves immense credit for making him the defensive player he is. Under Butterfield's tutelage Aaron Hill, a shortstop by trade, became an above-average defensive second baseman. Butterfield worked very closely with the young and talented Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie.

It was announced on September 30, 2007, that Butterfield would be the bench coach for the Blue Jays in 2008, replacing Ernie Whitt. On October 30, 2009, it was announced that Butterfield would once again be the Blue Jays' third base coach for the 2010 season.[8]

During the 2010 off-season, Butterfield was one of four finalists for the Blue Jays' managerial job, along with John Farrell, DeMarlo Hale, and Sandy Alomar Jr.[9] Two years later, after Farrell's return to the Red Sox as their manager for 2013, Butterfield was again a finalist for the Jays' managerial opening.[6]

When John Gibbons got the Blue Jays' job, Butterfield joined Farrell and the Red Sox on October 30, 2012, as third-base coach.[10] He served through the Red Sox' 2013 World Series championship season, coaching third base, positioning the infielders defensively, working with young players Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts, and helping to convert Mike Napoli from catcher to first baseman. Butterfield was rehired for 2014 with the rest of Farrell's staff after the World Series triumph, and remained the team's third-base and infield coach through October 26, 2017, when, two weeks after Farrell's firing, Butterfield took a similar job on the staff of the Chicago Cubs.[11]

Butterfield was hired by the Los Angeles Angels as their third base coach prior to the 2020 season.[12][13] The Angels dismissed Butterfield after the 2021 season.[14] On January 21, 2022, it was reported that Butterfield was denied a role on the New York Mets staff for his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Yankees' Butterfield dies in auto mishap". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. November 17, 1979 – via Google News.
  2. ^ "Wareham takes Cape League championship". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. September 2, 1976. p. 22.
  3. ^ a b "Brian Butterfield Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "Brian Butterfield fired as Columbus manager". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. May 17, 2002. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014 – via Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Blue Jays fire Martinez; Tosca takes reins". ESPN. Associated Press. June 3, 2002. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Abraham, Peter (November 22, 2012). "Brian Butterfield has Red Sox in his roots". Boston.com. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  7. ^ McDonald, Joe (February 24, 2014). "Coaches behind Red Sox's success". ESPN. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "Blue Jays complete coaching staff for 2010". Toronto Blue Jays (Press release). MLB.com. October 30, 2009. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (October 21, 2010). "Brian Butterfield is the fourth finalist for Blue Jays job". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  10. ^ "Red Sox hire coach Butterfield away from Blue Jays". TSN. October 30, 2012. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Skrbina, Paul (October 26, 2017). "Cubs make changes: Chili Davis the new hitting coach, John Mallee out". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Torres, Maria (October 31, 2019). "Joe Maddon's new Angels coaching staff is full of former Cubs". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Mahoney, Larry (April 30, 2021). "Maine man living out his dream as a 3rd base coach with LA Angels". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on April 30, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  14. ^ McDonald, Darragh (October 18, 2021). "Angels Part Ways with Third Base Coach Brian Butterfield". MLB Trade Rumors. Archived from the original on October 18, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "Brian Butterfield denied role on Mets coaching staff for refusing vaccine". January 21, 2022.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brian Butterfield.
  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Frank Howard
New York Yankees first base coach
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Franchise created
Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach
1998–2000
Succeeded by
Chris Speier
Preceded by
Trey Hillman
Columbus Clippers manager
2002
Succeeded by
Frank Howard
Preceded by
Carlos Tosca
Nick Leyva
Toronto Blue Jays third base coach
2002–2007
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Marty Pevey
Luis Rivera
Preceded by
Ernie Whitt
Toronto Blue Jays bench coach
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Nick Leyva
Preceded by
Jerry Royster
Boston Red Sox third base coach
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Carlos Febles
Preceded by
Gary Jones
Chicago Cubs third base coach
2018–2019
Succeeded by
Will Venable
Preceded by
Mike Gallego
Los Angeles Angels third base coach
2020-2021
Succeeded by
Phil Nevin
  • v
  • t
  • e
Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series champions
2 Jacoby Ellsbury
3 David Ross
5 Jonny Gomes
7 Stephen Drew
11 Clay Buchholz
12 Mike Napoli
15 Dustin Pedroia
16 Will Middlebrooks
18 Shane Victorino
19 Koji Uehara (ALCS MVP)
22 Félix Doubront
29 Daniel Nava
31 Jon Lester
32 Craig Breslow
34 David Ortiz (World Series MVP)
36 Junichi Tazawa
37 Mike Carp
39 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
41 John Lackey
44 Jake Peavy
46 Ryan Dempster
50 Quintin Berry
56 Franklin Morales
67 Brandon Workman
72 Xander Bogaerts
Manager
53 John Farrell
Third base coach 13 Brian Butterfield
Bench coach 17 Torey Lovullo
Hitting coach 28 Greg Colbrunn
First Base coach 43 Arnie Beyeler
Pitching coach 47 Juan Nieves
Assistant hitting coach 57 Vic Rodriguez
Bullpen coach 58 Dana LeVangie
Bullpen catcher 83 Brian Abraham
Bullpen catcher 88 Alex Martinez
Regular season
American League Division Series
American League Championship Series