Kid Butler (butleki02)
Willis Everett Butler
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 155 lb.
- Debut April 30, 1907
- Final Game August 2, 1907
- Born August 9, 1887 in Franklin, PA USA
- Died February 22, 1964 in Richmond, CA USA
Kid Butler was an infielder for 18 seasons (1906-1923), with only 20 games in the majors as a 19-year-old in 1907.
Butler was born on Tuesday, August 9, 1887, in Franklin, PA. He was 18 when he broke into organized baseball with Akron in the Ohio-Pennsylvania League in 1906. He was 19 when he broke into the big leagues on April 30, 1907, with the St. Louis Browns for a cup of coffee that ended on August 2, 1907, only one week before his 20th birthday. In 20 games, he hit .220.
He played in the minors with Nashville in the Southern Association (1908-1909) and the Toledo Mud Hens in the American Association (1910). He spent 1912 as a backup shortstop with Portland, a team which featured the young Dave Bancroft as the regular. His career paused during World War I when he served as a Corporal for the U.S. Army. He returned following the war to the minors and ended his career hitting over .300 with London in the Michigan-Ontario League (1922), then a ride with the Jersey City Giants in the International League (1923).
In the ensuing years, Kid was a scout for several teams and retired as the assistant manager of the Richmond, CA housing authority. Scouting for the St. Louis Browns (1924-1941) and Cleveland Indians (1942-1947), he discovered and/or signed players such as Harry Chozen, Harlond Clift, Ray Coleman, Harry Malmberg, Mel Mazzera, Larry Bettencourt, Len Dondero, Chuck Stevens and Mike Garcia. He died at age 76 in a VA Hospital in Richmond, CA on May 26, 1964 and is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA, Plot: 2D 738.
Principal sources for Kid Butler (butleki02) include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.