Take 5: Blake Butcher, the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds 1st All-Star MVP
Special to the Daily
Editor’s note: This is Part One of a two-part interview series with local collegiate baseball players. Watch for the next interview with Aussie Nick Boys in Thursday’s newspaper.
It’s hard to miss Summit Extreme Black Diamonds slugger Blake Butcher.
With a sultry southern twang accented by a manicured patch of fiery red hair, the Georgia native has been a sparkplug on the field for the local collegiate team this summer, lifting 13 home runs while sporting an obscenely high batting average.
And his domination hasn’t been limited to the High Country, either: This past spring, Butcher was named USA South conference player of the year for Division III LaGrange College of Georgia and earned second team All-South Region honors from D3baseball.com.
But there’s a lot more to “Butch” than just baseball. The incoming senior is just as colorful off the field as on, which has done him well while in Summit County. The Summit Daily sports desk caught up with Butch to see what the past month-and-a-half of alpine baseball has been like.
Summit Daily News: What did people say back in Georgia when you told them you were coming out here to play ball this summer?
Blake Butcher: I got a couple mixed reactions. First off, that I was really lucky — you know, that I was going to come out here and enjoy Colorado and be up in the mountains and play ball while I’m at it. Some guys were telling me, “You’re going to get out there and you’re going to love it. You’re not going to want to leave,” and that’s definitely been the case. I’ve really enjoyed my time out here and it’s tough to see it come to an end pretty soon.
SDN: What’s it like making a transition from Georgia to somewhere that’s the polar opposite like Summit County?
BB: It definitely took a little adjusting, getting used to. You’re talking about flat pine trees everywhere (in Georgia). You come up here there’s just mountains, thin air and it’s a little cooler at night. It’s just a lot different.
SDN: What’s been your favorite off-field activity so far?
BB: Probably just hanging out with the team and getting to enjoy a little bit of the stuff in town. On my off days I like to go fishing when I get the chance — go out there and try to catch some trout. You know I do that a little bit back home in North Georgia, but it’s a lot different out here. It’s a lot of fun.
SDN: Have you ever had moonshine?
BB: Yes, it’s awesome. I love moonshine, I’ve had my fair share of moonshine.
SDN: On paper you’ve had a pretty successful season so far. Has your performance met your personal expectations?
BB: No matter where I go, whether I’m going to Colorado or staying in Georgia, I’ll do the best I can for my abilities. I don’t go out there and try to do too much. I just want to go out there and play decent, play well and improve my game every time I step on the field, and that’s something I strive to do every day throughout the summer.
SDN: Do you feel like you’ve improved this summer?
BB: Yeah, for sure. Some little things I came here to work on I think I’ve actually got a lot of use out of. I’ve learned a lot.
SDN: You had a great college spring season this past year and you’ve got one more season left. What are your future goals for baseball?
BB: Well, obviously you know every little kid’s dream is to get drafted. And I had a really good year last year and I was talking to coach (Brady Kirkpatrick) a little about it. If I come out and build on that year and try to just improve on my aspects of the game I might get picked up by somebody this year, and I’m playing for that goal.
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