Baseball dreams born in Florida came true for Butler

Billy Butler, DH, Royals
Hometown: Orange Park, Fla.

Butler grew up with big league dreams in mind.

By the age of 6, he was hooked on baseball, and already had his future mapped out, as his father, JD, recalled.

"I remember when he was a little dude and said, 'Dad, I'll make it to the big leagues some day,'" JD said. "As a father, when your 6- or 7-year-old kid tells you that, you support those dreams and that's what they are. Anyone who says 'My 8- or 10-year-old is going to be a big leaguer,' it is probably a pretty farfetched goal, but that is a dream everybody has."

Butler played baseball at Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, and eventually passed up an opportunity to attend Florida University on a baseball scholarship in 2004.

He declined it because the Royals made him their first round Draft pick that year.

"He's an All-Star, that's a dream, and he made it to the big leagues and he is established. I think anything after that are his dreams now. All of my dreams have come true," JD said.

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.