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Ask Athlon Sports: Baseball Hall of Fame

Q: Brett Butler was one of the best leadoff batters and bunters in baseball history. Shouldn’t he be in the Hall of Fame? What is he doing now?

— Sarah Newland, Catlettsburg, Ky.

A: Butler — who, incidentally, was the first batter Roger Clemens faced in his big league career — was a great player and one of the better leadoff hitters of his era, although his career numbers don’t quite put him in Hall of Fame territory. Six times he scored more than 100 runs in a season; he led the National League in triples four times; and he stole 558 bases in his career, ranking 24th all-time in that category. A bout with cancer, which he blamed on his use of smokeless tobacco, shortened his career, leaving him with 2,375 career hits for five different teams and a career .290 batting average. Since his retirement, he has coached for the Diamondbacks and managed at the minor league level, while also dedicating time to Christian and pro-life causes. He enters the 2012 season as the manager for Reno Aces, the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate, a position he has held since the team’s inception in 2009. Butler led the Aces to a Pacific Coast League Northern Division title in 2011.

— Charlie Miller, Editorial Director

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