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Friday, January 21, 2022

Ray Payton built courage in instructional ball; Saw four pro seasons, made high-A

Ray Payton started off 1988 strong for the single-A South Bend White Sox as he hit safely in his first seven games of the season, The South Bend Tribune wrote.

Payton, in his second pro season, credited work he'd done in the previous fall's instructional league with getting him going, according to The Tribune.

"Instructional ball, that's where I built up my courage," Payton told The Tribune that April. "My hitting instructor worked with me a lot. When I wouldn't play, I would go out to the cage."

Payton's courage went on to take him to two more pro seasons. He he made high-A, but couldn't make it higher.

Payton's career began in 1987, taken by the White Sox in the 19th round of the draft out of Southern University and A and M College.

Payton started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He got into 13 games and hit .182.

He moved to South Bend for 1988. He got into 122 games and he hit .267, with nine home runs. He saw single-A Sarasota in 1989, and returned to South Bend. He hit .270 in 84 total games and helped South Bend to the league title.

"It feels good to end the season in a situation like this," Payton told The Tribune. I struggled in Sarasota and when I came here, (hitting coach) Roger LaFrancois kept on me every day."

Payton returned to Sarasota, at high-A, for all of 1990. He hit .260 over 95 games to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,829
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,541-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

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