Ivoria Hillis Layne (Tony)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut September 16, 1941
- Final Game September 21, 1945
- Born February 23, 1918 in Whitwell, TN USA
- Died January 12, 2010 in Signal Mountain, TN USA
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.
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.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|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|
- 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.