Maine native Butterfield thriving as Sox 3rd base coach

BOSTON (NEWS CENTER) - Brian Butterfield's climb up the Major League's ranks has been a long and steady progress that reached two pinnacles in 2013: joining his boyhood team the Red Sox and winning his first World Series title.

"Once things were over and we had a chance to relax and reflect on during the season you get a chance to spend some time with friends and family, you do reflect and you do enjoy the moment," said the Orono native.

The Red Sox famously went from worst-to-first last season, but 2014 has been a struggle in Boston, which has seen the Sox endure ten-game losing streak and occupying the American Leage East cellar for much of the first third of the season.

"You try to stay consistent. I think that it's real important as a coaching staff and as players and as upper management that we're not a bottom line group. You do things and you play the game with conviction and you believe in things," he said.

As most kids playing baseball in New England, Butterfield aspired to play for the Sox, but ended up being a member of the Yankees organization as utility player in 1979. He spent four years in their minor league farm system before being acquired by San Diego

"I always dreamed about playing for the Boston Red Sox, but there's only one stipulation, you've got to be good enough to play in the big leagues with the Red Sox, but this is second best." he said.

It was while Butterfield was still playing that he started his coaching career, first at his alma mater Florida Southern in 1979 then Eckerd College, also in Florida, in for the next two seasons.

He then began his pro coaching career, once again with the Yankees. Butterfield was with New York for 15 seasons highlighted by his stint as first base coach from 1994-95. Afterward he followed Yankees manager Buck Showalter to Arizona, where he'd spend two years in the minors, before debuting with the expansion Diamondbacks as their third base coach in 1998.

Like in New York, Butterfield and the rest of the staff were let go in 2000. He then bounced around the Yankees minor league system before he was fired as their Triple A manager in 2002, only to end up back in the Majors three weeks later as the third base coach of the Toronto Blue Jays, a position he held for more than a decade.

"I love what I do right now. I love coaching third base. I love the pressure. I love the expectations that come with it," he said.

It was during that time that he first stood out in 2007 to Red Sox pitching coach, and current Boston manager, John Farrell.

Four seasons later, Butterfield was a finalist for the vacant Blue Jays managerial position, which ultimately went to Farrell, but he'd retain Butterfield on his staff.

"We're talking about one of the best third base coaches in the game, one of the best infield instructors as well. His work ethic, his approach, his preparedness fits everything I would like to see in a given staff member or coach," Farrell said.

Butterfield, who was once again a finalist in for the Blue Jays managerial post after the Red Sox acquired Farrell in 2013, is still hopeful that he'll get his shot to lead a Major League team.

"I think it's real important as a coach to do the best job you can everyday and just let your body of work be your agent," he said.


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