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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Butch Huskey saw seven major league seasons; Wore No. 42 for Jackie Robinson

In the middle of his first full professional season at single-A Columbia in 1991, Butch Huskey impressed, The Columbia State wrote.

"You start to drool when you see the potential of the numbers he can put up," Columbia manager Tim Blackwell told The State. "I mean, it's awesome. I hate that word, but it's awesome the potential he has. I'd love to see him in five years."

Five years later, Huskey was a regular in the majors, in the midst of a season where he'd hit .278, with 15 home runs.

Huskey went on to see parts of seven major league campaigns. He would also receive the distinction of being one of the final players to wear the number 42, a number Huskey originally selected to honor the number's most famous wearer, Jackie Robinson.

Huskey's career began in 1989, taken by the Mets in the seventh round of the draft out of Lawton High School in Oklahoma.

Huskey started with the Mets in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He moved to rookie Kingsport in 1990, then Columbia in 1991. He made AA Binghamton in 1993. Then, that September, he made New York.

Huskey saw 13 games with the Mets that September in 1993. He returned for 28 more two seasons later. In 1996, he became a regular. He hit .278 over 118 games, with those 15 home runs. 

He started off the 1996 campaign slowly, after a hot spring. But he hit his first home run in late April and expressed relief, Gannett News Service wrote

"There's a thousand pounds off my chest right now," Huskey told Gannett News Service.

A year later, Husky picked up a hit in Los Angeles as baseball officially retired No. 42. President Bill Clinton was even on hand. Having already had the number, Huskey was allowed to keep wearing it.

"That's the utmost award I can ever get in my life," Huskey told The Associated Press then of getting to wear No. 42. "I can get any other award for the rest of my career and it will not mean more to me."

Huskey hit .287 that year in 1997 over 142 games. Hew moved to the Mariners and Red Sox for 1999, then to the Twins and Rockies in 2000. He saw 109 games in 2000 and hit .261, to mark his last season in the bigs.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,933
Made the Majors:1,312-33.4%-X
Never Made Majors:2,621-66.6%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:534-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:328    

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