Carlton F. Willey


Carlton F. Willey, 78, died Tuesday, July 21, 2009, in Ellsworth. He was born June 6, 1931, in Cherryfield, to Philip Willey and Marjorie (Morse) Willey.

He graduated from Cherryfield Academy in 1949. During the summers of 1951 and 1952 he tried out as a pitcher for the Bangor News-Boston Braves Baseball Camp. He was invited to Boston by the Braves in 1951. He was signed by the Braves and assigned to Quebec City, Class C. His minor league career included Toledo, Ohio, and Atlanta, Ga. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany for two years. Resuming his baseball career he pitched for the Triple A club, the Wichita Braves, for two years. At the end of his 1957 season he was called up to the parent club, the Milwaukee Braves, where he played for five years. In 1958, he was named National League Pitching Rookie of the Year. He was traded to the New York Mets in 1963. At the old Polo Grounds, N.Y., he hit a grand slam while his father, Philip and son, Richie watched with Walter Tucker and Gerald Morse, all from Cherryfield. During spring training in St. Petersburg, Fla., while pitching in an exhibition game with the Detroit Tigers, as Hollis Wyman of Milbridge watched, Carlton was hit by a line drive, breaking his jaw. Retiring in 1966, Carlton returned to his beloved Cherryfield, working in the family hardware store. He scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies, covering the Midwest states. He was employed by Jasper Wyman as plant manager in Hancock and eventually he and son, Richie started a house painting business.

Survivors include his companion, Maureen Mahan; son, Richard and his wife, Susan, of Cherryfield; daughter, Jill W. Escamilla and her husband, Patrick of Austin, Texas; mother of his children, Nancy Willey of Cherryfield; grandchildren, Philip Willey of Portland, and Eryn Escamilla of Austin, Texas; special cousins, Susan Hartford of Dresden and Jane Morse. He will be missed by his friends of the Ridge Road Old Men’s Club.

A visitation will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 24, 2009, at Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Milbridge. A private graveside service will be held Saturday. The family requests that memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Cherryfield Academy, Eleanor Hampton, P.O. Box 26, Cherryfield, ME 04622.

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