Monday, December 13, 2010

Braves Collection: Jerry Royster

1981 Fleer
Jerry Royster was one of those guys you just associated with the Atlanta Braves in the late 70s and early 80s. He could play second. He could play short. He could play third. He could play left. When I first became a Braves fan, he was the primary backup for the Braves main infielders: Glenn Hubbard, Rafael Ramirez and Bob Horner.

I've always had a soft spot for utility men, and Royster was one of my favorite non-stars on the 1982 playoff team. He was a guy who always played hard and you would often see him pinch hit and then take the field in the late innings after a double switch with Hubbard. I had no idea that he was one of the guys the Braves got when they dealt away Dusty Baker. (A trade that seems awfully lopsided ... and yes I realize that there were many more players involved than just Royster and Baker ... and it isn't like those mid 70s teams were going anywhere anyway.)

Here's what bugs me though: in the late 80s, I watched EVERY Braves game and somehow my forty year old brain does not remember Royster returning to Atlanta in 1988, three years after he departed as a free agent. Losing your mental facilities sucks.

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