April 26, 2017
Justin McWilliams was born on January 26, 1982 to Mark and Jamie McWilliams in Orlando, (Orange County), Florida. He shares this birthday with his sister Ashley who joined the family five (5) years later on January 26, 1987. Justin grew up in Ocoee, Florida, just northwest of Orlando. He attended Clarcona Elementary School; Ocoee Middle School and West Orange High School. He was a graduate of the Class of 2000.
Justin began playing baseball at the age of 7. His passion continued with him throughout his life. He played Little League, Junior League and Big League Baseball. He was a Member of the 1999 Big League World Series Championship team. He was also a starting Catcher for the West Orange Warriors. After Justin's death, as a way of honoring Justin's dedication to the game of baseball, Coach Teddy Craig created The Justin McWilliams Award to be given out annually to the Senior baseball player who strives to do the best for the team, showing full team loyalty for the "Orange and Blue."
At the age of twenty (20), Justin had already touched many lives. As a proud Organ Donor, Justin's corneas provided sight to two (2) individuals and his donation of bone, skin and tissue went to help up to sixty-five (65) people in need. Monetary donations made in his memory went to the West Orange High School Baseball Program and the Ocoee Little League; Trees were planted and continue to grow in the Yellowstone National Park in his memory and The Justin McWilliams Act, which increased penalties for drivers involved in fatal hit and run crashes, became effective on October 1, 2006. This law also added private property to Florida Statute 316.027 (1)(b).
Winning the 1999 Big League World Series was one of the biggest highlights of Justin's short life. Below, are two (2) links, that represent clips from his first "at bat" and his interview with the local press upon returning to Florida as a World Series Champion! Also, listed below, is a link to a book of baseball articles, stats and stories involving Justin in an Adobe PDF File Format.