Robert Frank John Butler
I find Rob Butler to be a surprising addition to this Missing Links list, as he appeared in 43 games with the Phillies during the awful 1997 season. He hit a respectable .292 (26 for 89) while starting 25 games in each of the three outfield positions. The Phillies had planned on veterans Danny Tartabull and Rex Hudler getting a lot of playing time in the outfield, but early season injuries to both resulted in Butler's promotion from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Seemingly looking for a little more production from the outfield, the Phillies claimed Midre Cummings off waivers from the Pirates on July 8th and Butler's Phillies career was over. He was sent back down to Triple-A and didn't return when rosters expanded in September.
Of particular interest to Phillies fans is that Butler had two at-bats against the team as a member of the Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series. In Game 4, he pinch-hit for Todd Stottlemyre and grounded into a force out against Roger Mason. In Game 5, he had one of five hits against Curt Schilling, with a pinch-hit single in the eighth. He was stranded at second when Schilling worked out of his only real trouble of the night.
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 5'11" Weight: 185
Born: April 10, 1970, East York, Canada
Signed: Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an amateur free agent, September 24, 1990
Major League Teams: Toronto Blue Jays 1993-1994; Phillies 1997; Toronto Blue Jays 1999
Professional Affiliations: Toronto Blue Jays 1991-1994; Phillies 1995-1997; Houston Astros 1998; Toronto Blue Jays 1999
43 games, .292 (26 for 89), 9 doubles
Acquired: Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a conditional deal, December 5, 1994.
Debut: April 13, 1997 - Pinch hit for Mark Leiter in the sixth in a game against the Padres, striking out against Joey Hamilton.
Final Game: July 6, 1997
Departed: Granted free agency, October 1, 1997. Signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros, December 22, 1997.
First Card: 1995 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons Team Issue #3
Last Card: 1997 Best Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #9
Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card: 1992 Bowman #603
First Topps Base Card: 1993 Topps Traded #15T
Last Mainstream Card: 1995 Pacific #438
Other Notable Cards: 1991 ProCards #3406, 1994 Donruss #558, 1994 Topps #361, 1995 Topps #116, 1996 Best Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #9
Sources: Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database
Phillies Missing Links of the 1990s
1 Louie Meadows
2 Dave LaPoint
3 Darrin Chapin
4 Mickey Weston
5 Bob Wells
6 Tom Edens
7 Omar Olivares
9 Jim Deshaies10 Chuck Ricci
11 Dennis Springer
12 Manny Martinez
13 Rafael Quirico
14 Bronson Heflin
15 Glenn Dishman
16 Rob Butler
17 Mike Robertson
18 Matt Whiteside
19 Robert Dodd
20 Joel Bennett
21 Joe Grahe
22 Domingo Cedeno
23 Torey Lovullo
This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia. In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.