New London Legion baseball honors Pete Butch
Piggly Wiggly owner accepts George Huntley Award
By John Faucher
Pete Butch, owner of Butch’s Piggly Wiggly in New London, received the 2019 George Huntley Memorial Award at Hatten Stadium on Friday, July 12.
The American Legion Clippers baseball team presents the annual award in honor of the late George Huntley, who actively volunteered in the community and was a cornerstone of American Legion baseball in New London for many years.
The award is given to an individual who shares in Huntley’s spirit of volunteerism and support for the team.
Pete Butch thought he was simply going to a ballgame to watch his son Brian throw the honorary first pitch in the Clippers baseball game against Clintonville.
“We asked Brian if he could be here to throw out the first pitch. We knew that’s the only way we could get Pete here,” Bob Marcks, a longtime Clippers volunteer and board member, said with a chuckle.
Pete Butch said he was surprised when they called him out of the stands to receive the award.
Marcks said Pete Butch has offered his facilities, his equipment, his parking lot and advice for the team year after year.
“He really carried us through in some lean years. I just can’t say enough for what he’s done for us and our community,” said Marcks.
Pete Butch was humble about his contributions and the award.
“It was a wonderful surprise, and I certainly appreciate it, but the guys out on the field and the kids who play that wonderful sport are the ones deserving of it,” he said.
He gave credit to New London’s entire business community and residents for being supportive in so many community causes.
“It’s the volunteers, the coaches, the parents and the guys that give up their time. They all sacrifice a lot. People don’t understand how much they sacrifice to help their kids make it to the next level. In all sports and activities, the kids appreciate it the most,” Pete Butch said.
“The family, the friends, the faith, it’s all wrapped up around everything.”
As for his son, Brian Butch was an All-Star and McDonald’s All-American Basketball player at Appleton West High School. He went on to play for the Wisconsin Badgers, where he was an Academic All Big 10 athlete as well as First Team Big 10. He also represented the United States in the Pan American Games in 2011.
Brian Butch played professional basketball worldwide and spent time with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA. He has also coached with the Wisconsin Herd G League basketball team.
Currently he co-hosts a sports radio show on Score 95.3 FM. He resides in Neenah with his wife and 6-month-old daughter.
Butch also helps put on more than 75 youth basketball camps throughout the upper Midwest during the summer months.
It was no surprise when Brian Butch delivered a perfect pitch right down the middle last Friday.
“It got there. That was my biggest concern,” Brian Butch said with a smile.
Although he is not a stranger to New London, he said it was his first time visiting Hatten Stadium.
“What a beautiful stadium it is. This is absolutely a gem,” he said.
“I appreciate Jim (Crain) reaching out and asking me to do it,” Brian Butch said. “It’s always fun to come back and be part of the community.”