Henry (Hank) Butta, now 88, was once a prominent business leader as CEO of the Chesapeake & Potomac (C&P) Telephone Co. of Maryland, and well known in local sports circles as the long-time honorary chairman of the NFL Alumni Charity Golf Classic, which raised money for charity.
Long before that time, however, he was a McCormick Unsung Hero honoree.
John Steadman, the late and legendary Baltimore sportswriter, once described how Butta began his football career at what was then known as Loyola High School, in a 1984 article for Legends, the official magazine of the National Football League Alumni.
“Henry (Hank) Butta lined-up in front of a goal post, awaited the snap from center, coordinated with the holder and swung his foot, pendulum-style, with all the leg-drive he could command.
“That he was a natural kicker, even if he was small enough to fit in your pocket, was obvious for all to see. It was then that coach Ed Hargaden, on a late summer day in 1943, decided that the walk-on freshman, hoping for a scholarship, had a chance to help Loyola High School become a championship contender.”
Four years later, Butta was Loyola’s honoree at the 1947 McCormick Unsung Heroes Dinner and never really strayed far from the game of football, which he loved dearly.
He was offered a scholarship to kick for Georgetown University, but was forced to turn it down so he could work to help support his family.
Even in his esteemed 44 year business career, Butta started out as an unsung hero, beginning his journey at C&P as an $18 per week office mail boy, working his way up through the ranks. In 1991 he retired as one of the most influential business executives in Maryland.
In addition to his work with the NFL Alumni, he served as the director of the United Way of Central Maryland campaign and led a task force, appointed by former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer, to lead the campaign for the return of Baltimore’s National Football League franchise.
Butta and his wife Anne, who passed away in 1993, have four children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A native of Highlandtown in Baltimore, he currently resides in Davidsonville.