James "Butters" Barton may not have the most glamorous job for the Texas Longhorns baseball team — in fact, his may be the least glamorous — but he still enjoys every moment as a bullpen catcher. Above, check out his "day in the life" segment from the Longhorn Network.
But wait, where did that nickname come from exactly? Apparently it's the resemblance, as one might expect. And it's become quite widespread.
"My nickname is Butters," he says. "He's a character from South Park. Literally everyone calls me that. There's not one person involved with the baseball program that calls me James."
The senior catcher, who wears No. 46, begins his day in Finance 370 inside the Red McCombs School of Business. Fittingly enough, he's a finance major.
"I chose finance because I knew I wanted to do business, but I didn't specifically know what I wanted to do, and finance is a really broad major within business," Barton says. "It offers a ton of opportunities post-college."
Upon graduation, the Austin native will stay in town, working for JPMorgan Chase as a financial analyst.
Barton Butters, hits a workout at 12:33. He lifts weights, drags dumbbells around, does squats and otherwise stays in shape.
At 1:56 it's time for a bullpen session with 'Horns pitcher Morgan Cooper.
"Being a bullpen catcher is a unique situation," Barton says. "I warm up the pitchers on game day. I catch all their bullpens mid-week. I get the relievers ready during the games and go over strategy. The most important quality of catching out in the bullpen is being willing to sacrifice a lot of your time to help the pitchers. It's not really about you, it's more about them getting better."
A team dinner is at 2:30, followed by batting practice an hour later and another bullpen session at 4:15. The big event, in this case a game against UTSA, takes place at 6 p.m.. Barton mostly cheers on the team for the sidelines in this contest, which ends in a win for the 'Horns.
However, Barton earned his first career at-bat during last night's 7-0 win over Prairie View A&M.
'Horns head coach Augie Garrido said it's sort of a tradition to give bullpen catchers an at-bat late in their careers. Barton is the fourth in a row to get the honor, and Garrido said the previous three are all off to highly-successful careers.
"When the crappiest job on the team is done to the best of someone's ability, the level of respect that they earn is from everyone," Garrido said. "We like to do that. They add so much to the program."
Barton said he was smiling the entire time, and while he didn't get it a hit, he still enjoyed the honor. Barton's a guy that truly loves the game of baseball and is pumped for the rest of the season despite knowing his chances of seeing the field are slim.
"Longhorn fans, I hope you enjoyed a day in the life," Barton says at the end of the clip. "It was a good day, we got a big win tonight. Signing off from Disch-Falk Field: Hook 'Em Horns!"