It’s fitting that Dan Butler’s Major League Baseball debut comes over 2,500 miles away from Fenway Park when the Boston Red Sox take on the Los Angeles Angels.
That’s because his road to the big leagues has seemed just as long.
The 27-year-old catcher was never drafted. In fact, he was the backup catcher for most of his time at the University of Arizona.
During his collegiate career, Butler got the attention of the Red Sox organization while playing in the Cape Cod League. In need of a backup catcher for their Single-A team, the Lowell Spinners, the Sox gave Butler a shot.
Butler thrived defensively behind the plate and with his bat and eventually played his first full season in Triple-A Pawtucket last season. He led the PawSox with a .479 slugging percentage in 2013 and threw out 30.5 percent of all would-be base stealers. To top it all off, he was named the PawSox’s regular season MVP.
When David Ross landed on the disabled list earlier this month, Butler got called up and now makes his first career start in the majors.
The Red Sox hope that Butler’s defensive prowess can help extend his inspiring story of perseverence.