01 Jul

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Joey Butler didn’t make much of a mark in the major leagues, getting 75 hits in 102 games over three seasons (2013-15) for three different clubs. But on July 1, 2015, while with Tampa Bay, the Pascagoula native, down 0-2 in the count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, delivered an RBI single that broke up a no-hitter by Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco. Something for the scrapbook, no doubt, but not Butler’s best day in The Show — not by a long shot. On Oct. 4, 2015, playing for the Rays against Toronto, Butler went 3-for-4 with two homers and six RBIs. One of the homers was a grand slam off Mark Buehrle. That’s a big day. It capped a season in which Butler batted .276 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 88 games. He was 29 at the time. And yet, strangely enough, that Oct. 4 game was the last one the right-handed hitting outfielder/DH would play in the majors. A Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and New Orleans alumnus, he played two more years in Triple-A, finishing his pro career with 108 bombs — eight in the majors, 92 in the minors, six in Japan and two in winter ball. P.S. Former Mississippi Braves star Ronald Acuna has earned a starting outfield spot in the MLB All-Star Game as the top vote-getter in the National League. Former M-Braves Ozzie Albies (second base), Dansby Swanson (shortstop) and William Contreras (DH) also made the final two at their positions in the fan voting, as did ex-East Central Community College star Tim Anderson (shortstop) of the Chicago White Sox in the American League. Phase two of the voting runs from July 5-8. The game is July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

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