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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Chris Butterfield believed he'd make bigs, missed in 9 years

Chris Butterfield 1990 Port St. Lucie Mets card

Starting his fourth pro season, Chris Butterfield recalled a conversation he'd had with another player about career trajectory, his hometown Modesto Bee wrote.

The teammate wouldn't accept a demotion, but Butterfield would, Butterfield recalled to The Bee.

"I said, 'I'm not going to quit until they quit on me,'" Butterfield recalled to The Bee. "I've already been at the bottom of my career as far as I'm concerned. With two new expansion teams coming in, you never know what will happen. I'm going to get to the big leagues - there's no doubt in my mind."

Butterfield spoke to The Bee as he arrived at AA Binghamton in 1992. He went on to see AAA two seasons later. But, in a career that spanned nine campaigns, he never saw the majors.

Butterfield's career began in 1989, taken by the Mets in the 14th round of the draft out of Cal Poly Pomona.

Butterfield started with the Mets at short-season Pittsfield. He hit .304 over 71 games, with eight home runs.

He moved to high-A St. Lucie for 1990 and stayed there for 1991. He hit just .197 his first year there and .225 his second.

At Binghamton in 1992, Butterfield saw 138 games and hit .224, with 14 home runs. He returned there for 1993 and .211. 

He underwent shoulder surgery that offseason and made AAA Norfolk to start 1994, but got released in May. He signed with the Indians. His early time with the Indians saw him waiting on the bench, The Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin wrote.

"I don't like not playing," Butterfield told The Press and Sun-Bulletin that July. "But I'm trying to be patient. Guys are shuffling in and out of here all the time. I'm just basically trying to be patient and wait my turn."

He ended up splitting time between AAA Charlotte and AA Canton-Akron, getting into 22 games each. He hit .231 at Charlotte and .200 at Canton-Akron. 

Butterfield saw two games with the Dodgers at AA San Antonio in 1995, then played 1996 with independent Reno and saw 17 final games in 1997 at independent Chico to end his career.

Butterfield has since gone on to coach high school ball and serve as an instructor.

Chris Butterfield 1990 Port St. Lucie Mets card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,792
Made the Majors:1,280-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,512-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:316

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