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Laymon Yokely

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Laymon Samuel Yokely
(Norman, Corner Pocket, The Mysterious Shadow)

[edit] Biographical Information

Laymon Yokely pitched for the Baltimore Black Sox (1926-1933), the Bacharach Giants (1934), the Philadelphia Stars (1934-1937, 1939), the Washington Black Senators (1938) amd the Baltimore Elite Giants (1944).

Recruited by the Baltimore Black Sox from Livingstone College in North Carolina, Yokely was usually one of the team's top pitchers from the mid to late 1920s. He was credited with six no-hitters for the Black Sox, though only one, on May 15, 1927 against the Cuban Stars, was pitched in Negro League competition. He won 17 games in 1929 to help the Black Sox to the American Negro League pennant. He also appeared with the 1934 Negro National League champion Philadelphia Stars. He reportedly won 25 games for the Stars in 1939.

A popular player, he was referred to in the Baltimore Afro-American as "Corner Pocket". Several times in the late 1920s he pitched complete games in both ends of double-headers, and may have burned out his arm doing so, as his effectiveness decreased markedly beginning in 1930. While he made a comeback in 1932, he never again enjoyed his previous level of effectiveness. He played for three other teams from 1934 to 1938 before joining the Edgewater Giants, a lower-level semi-pro team. He made one final appearance at the top level of Negro League play, pitching briefly for the Baltimore Elite Giants in 1944.

He operated his own barnstorming semi-pro team from 1945 through 1959, after which he retired from baseball.

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