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ThunderBolts Notes: Button gets emotional send off

Updated: July 27, 2014 10:04PM



Evan Button walked off the Standard Bank Stadium field for the last time in the eighth inning of Saturday’s Windy City ThunderBolts game.

T-Bolts manager Ron Biga made sure Button would get a special sendoff, sending him out to center field at the beginning of the inning before Andrew Brauer came out to replace him. An announcement was made over the PA and Button got a nice ovation and some hugs from teammates on his way to the dugout.

“It was very emotional,” Button said. “It made me well up for a second out there. Mikey (Torres) came up and gave me a hug. It’s tough to leave these guys.”

Button signed with the T-Bolts on June 29 of last year and, entering Sunday, hit .281 in 110 games with the team. He has hit leadoff most of this season for Windy City and been one of the team’s most consistent hitters.

He’ll stay with Windy City through the series at Rockford, which wraps up Tuesday, before leaving for a coaching and administrative job with a baseball program in Singapore.

“I’m going to be travelling the world with a select organization over there,” he said. “We’re going straight to Australia when I get over there. We’ll be coming to the U.S. next summer. I’ll get to take these kids all over the world. It’s exciting. It’s bittersweet because I’m definitely going to miss playing, but there are things I’m not going to miss, too.”

Button, who turns 28 in September and is the oldest member of the T-Bolts, decided it was time to hang it up.

“I originally planned to finish this season than keep playing somewhere,” he said. “I thought about going to play in Australia or something like that. Then this opportunity came up and it was too good to pass up.”

Torres on a tear: Torres, who entered the season as a career .296 hitter over four years with the T-Bolts, had a rough first half of the season, going into the All-Star break hitting just .209, though he still managed to get on base at a solid clip with a .355 on-base percentage thanks to 39 walks.

Since the break, though, the veteran has picked it up. He went 15-for-38 with seven multi-hit games in team’s first nine games of the second half. In the process, he raised his batting average to .243.

“I definitely feel a little better at the plate,” he said. “I struggled big-time in the first half. The layoff helped. I’ve been spending a lot of time working with (hitting coach Pete Pirman). Hopefully I can keep this going.”

Torres is second in the league with 44 walks and fifth with 16 stolen bases.



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