Willie Royster, baseball player, Died at 61

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Willie Arthur Royster was born on April 11, 1954, and died on November 23, 2015.

He was an American former professional baseball player.

The catcher spent eleven seasons in minor league baseball, with a brief, four-game Major League trial for the 1981 Baltimore Orioles.

Willie threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg).

Willie was chosen by the Orioles in the 22nd round of the 1972 Major League Baseball Draft.

He played in the minors from 1972 to 1976 and 1978 to 1981 – missing the entire 1977 season – until a breakout season with the 1981 Charlotte O’s of the Double-A Southern League saw him hit 31 home runs and drive in 88 runs batted in, both career highs.

Baltimore recalled him after the September 1 roster expansion.

In Royster’s four MLB games played, Willie appeared as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch hitter.

In his four big-league at bats, Willie struck out twice and grounded out twice.

Willie returned to the minors in 1982, and his pro career ended after the 1983 season.

He played all but 66 of his 961 minor-league games in the Orioles’ organization.

Willie passed away at home in Ocean View, New Jersey on November 23, 2015 at the age of 61.

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