Team Italy catcher Drew Butera was inducted into the University of Central Florida (UCF) Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the Doubletree Hotel in Orlando on April 12, 2019. Team Italy coach and father Sal Butera accepted the honor on hehalf of his son and gave an emotional speech in front of a sold-out audience. Only a few select athletes form the the UCF Knights baseball program are granted elite status and deemed Knights of Honor after being selected in the first five rounds of the MLB draft, being named as an All-American, or having contributed to the postseason success of Knights baseball. UCF Knight of Honor Drew Butera was the 2005 fifth-round draft pick of the New York Mets. He is now playing in his tenth season in Major League Baseball and is currently on the Colorado Rockies roster after a short stint at Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. Drew Butera won the World Series Championship with the Kansas City Royals in 2015, when he caught the final strike that secured the title for the Royals. He also is one of only five players in MLB history to catch a no-hitter in both the American League and National League.
By throwing out 63 would-be base stealers during his collegiate career from 2003-2005, Drew Butera is the UCF career record-holder in runners caught stealing. He made an impact on the baseball squad while attending school and will never be forgotten as a member of the UCF Knights of Honor. Perhaps the unsung hero in the crowd during this star-studded Hall of Fame ceremony was Drew Butera's mother, Gina Butera. She said that UCF was the best university ever to have her son go to for his education and baseball career. She thanked UCF and Jay Bergman for being part of Drew's life and credited their support and guidance in helping make Drew the person he is today.
Drew Butera was unable to attend the festivities as he was busy preparing for his departure from Triple-A ball back to the Big Leagues. While playing for the Albuquerque Isotopes, he was one of the team's leading hitters with a .400 batting average, two doubles and one RBI in fifteen plate appearances. With Chris Iannetta on the 10-day injured list, Drew Butera now shares the Colorado Rockies catching duties with Tony Wolters. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti