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Hillis Layne

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Ivoria Hillis Layne (Tony)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Hillis Layne was an infielder, mostly at third base, for 19 seasons, three in the Major Leagues (1941, 1944 and 1945) and 17 in the minors (1938-1941 and 1946-1958), losing 2¾ years to the Military. He was born February 23, 1918, in Whitwell, TN to Elijah Hudson Layne (1881-1969) and Dolly Daisy Elizabeth Hudson Layne (1885-1958), the sixth out of eight children. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II (1942-1944) (N&C). He married Dottie Graham (1924-1997) with whom he had two children: son Stephen Hillis Layne (28 Nov 1951 -- ), and daughter Margaret Elizabeth Layne Dowling (10 Nov 1960 -- ) and three grandchildren.

Signed as an amateur free agent by the legendary Joe Engel of the Washington Senators organization, he played first for the Chattanooga Lookouts until being called up by the Senators in September of 1941, and there he played his three years in MLB; he would also spend parts of the 1944 and 1945 seasons with the Washington Senators. In his 17-year minor league career, he played in 1,796 games and hit 83 home runs but had 953 runs batted in and a lifetime minor league batting average of .335.

He led the Pacific Coast League in batting in 1947 (.367) and the Northwest League (NWL) in 1955 (.391) for the Lewiston Broncs. He finished second in the league in batting average in both 1956 (.354) and 1957 (.340). In four NWL seasons, Layne's batting average was .362 and his on base percentage was .468. He struck out only 78 times in four years and led league 3B in fielding in 1955-56-57.He wound up his long career as a player/manager in the low minors and later worked as a major league scout. He scouted Brian Doyle for the Texas Rangers, who took him the 1972 amateur draft.

He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. He died at home in Chattanooga, TN on January 12, 2010 and is buried in National Cemetery in Chattanooga.

[edit] Sources

Principal sources for Hillis Layne include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and SABR's Minor League Stars, Volume I and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.


[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1951 Anderson Rebels Tri-State League 6th St. Louis Browns replaced Len Schulte July 12
1952 Pine Bluff Judges Cotton States League 62-64 6th St. Louis Browns
1953 Anderson Rebels Tri-State League 75-74 4th St. Louis Browns Lost League Finals
1954 San Angelo Colts Longhorn League 53-86 7th none
1955 Lewiston Broncs Northwest League 47-79 6th none
1956 Lewiston Broncs Northwest League 72-59 2nd Philadelphia Phillies none
1957 Lewiston Broncs Northwest League 58-78 5th none
1958 Lewiston Broncs Northwest League 80-56 1st Sacramento Solons Lost League Finals

[edit] Further Reading

  • Larry Stone: "Those were the most wonderful days I believe I ever had", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 104-105.

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