Hank Baylis

From BR Bullpen

Henry Baylis

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 175 lb.

BR Minors page

Hank Baylis was a Negro League and minor league infielder from 1948-1957.

Baylis debuted with the Chicago American Giants, hitting .320 as the backup to Alfonso Gerard at third base. In 1949, he played for the Baltimore Elite Giants and Birmingham Black Barons (.284), then he batted .270 for the Black Barons in 1950. From 1951-1955, Baylis played for his hometown Kansas City Monarchs.

In the 1952 East-West Game, Baylis hit 7th and played third base for the West. He went 1 for 2 with a double, run and two RBI in a 7-3 win, tying Felix McLaurin and Willie Patterson for the game lead in RBI. He again was at 3B and batting 7th in the 1953 East-West Game, a 5-1 win for the West. He was 1 for 4 with a RBI. He singled home Patterson with the tying run in the second, facing Willie Gaines, and the West never looked back.

Baylis is credited with giving Mamie Johnson her nickname of Peanut. Hank was the first batter to face the female pitcher in her Negro League debut and laughed about how someone the size of a peanut could pitch (though Johnson was bigger than Groundhog Thompson, whom Baylis had faced in the past); Baylis promptly struck out.

Baylis went to the minor leagues in 1956, hitting .263 and slugging .351 for the El Paso Texans. He hit 31 doubles and 7 triples but only two home runs. He split 1957 between the Texans (6 for 25), Yakima Bears (16 for 76, 3 2B, BB) and Tucson Cowboys (.300/.345/.379, 12 SB, 50 R in 57 G). At both second base and third base, he had the second-best fielding percentage in the Arizona-Mexico League.