CSSA PLAYER PROFILE - WARREN BUTLER
If you ever see an outfielder twist and turn away from an approaching fly ball, then observe as the vivid yellow softball lands miraculously in the glove behind the player’s back. That fielder will probably be Warren Butler.
The most senior player (he’s called Pappy) in the American League of the CSSA was a late bloomer in the world of sports. While he played Little League in his hometown of Dalton, GA, he admits his coordination at that early age lagged behind his counterparts.
It wasn’t until he was in his mid-twenties that he plunged into a pool of players being chosen for a church league. The teams were assigned ratings of one, two, and three in order of the assessment of their talent, and Warren joined the team with the lowest rank. He surprised himself with his abilities and hit three home runs in a tournament game that lifted his bottom-rated team to victory. They quickly reassigned him to the top-graded team.
He did not disappoint. The church league soon judged that group’s talent superior to others, and cast them out to the open league. Warren and his mates won that league’s championship on four occasions.
He proceeded through his work life with the Georgia United Credit Union, where he succeeded and became the CEO. He veered away from softball and focused on good times with his wife, Lashon, now thirty years his partner. They didn’t share a love of softball in the early days, but were a championship team in archery and trap-shooting. If fact, the pair won the Georgia State Trap-Shooting crown for four consecutive years.
Lashon has also won the women’s championship in archery in a combined competition for the states of Georgia and Alabama. Warren’s most cherished moment in his sports history is his own trophy for combined Georgia and Alabama state competitions in trap-shooting.
About fourteen years ago, Jeff Land, a neighbor of the Butlers, told them about the senior softball league in Woodstock. Warren’s been playing ever since and continued his leadership role, as he has in most everything he has joined in his life. He became the Director of the American League, then the Vice Commissioner of the CSSA Board of Directors under Dewey Hom for four years. He received the Lowell Lawson Award in 2017. His wife is a fervent supporter of his softball avocation. If you scan the grandstand, Lashon will be the one wearing the “Team Mom” shirt.
On the field, he’s led his team to their division title for three seasons in a row. He’s done so playing the outfield while expanding his expertise to the pitching mound. This past spring, the American League bestowed Warren with his first Most Valuable Player award. He bats left-handed and throws right. I’m not sure which hand pulls the shotgun’s trigger to get those clay pigeons, but have little doubt he could also shoot behind his back!
This avid outdoorsman has experienced some memorable fun events throughout his lifetime. A devoted Braves fan, his favorite players were Dale Murphy and Bob Horner. He’s had the good fortune of spending a day fishing with Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. About eight years ago, he took part in an Atlanta Braves Fantasy Camp. He improved his talents by working with Sid Bream, Marquis Grissom, Pete Smith, Javier Lopez, David Justice and Otis Nixon. Each day at the event, they highlight a Most Valuable Player based on the players’ performances, and Warren was honored at his selection as the MVP on one of those occasions. Not bad for a senior softballer!
He has another year in the American League before his age requires he step aside and join other leagues. No matter where he settles, his new team will receive one of the CSSA’s brightest stars and passionate cheerleaders; someone who practices what he preaches as he spouts in the dugout. “Don’t Ever Give Up.”
Written by Marty Aftewicz