William L. Laval (The Wiley Ole Fox)
- Height 5' 8", Weight 135 lb.
Billy Laval played eleven seasons of minor league ball, seeing action as a pitcher, outfielder, and first baseman. He also managed several years in the minors, part of that time as a player-manager.
Laval apparently debuted in 1907 with the Greenville Mountaineers, hitting .308 in 39 games; on the mound, he was 10-7. With the '08 Greenville Spinners, he fell to .197 while going 5-3. He split 1909 between Greenville and the Winston-Salem Twins, again hitting .197, while his mound record was 14-13. He put up a 8-5 mark for the 1910 Twins, while improving his average marginally (to .201). He hit .263/?/.391 for the 1911 Spartanburg Spartans while having his worst campaign as a pitcher (4-9).
In 1912, Laval was with the Spartanburg Red Sox and Anderson Electricians, batting .260 and not pitching at all. With the Richmond Colts of 1913, he hit .272 and was 1-0 on the hill. In 1914, he hit .272 and slugged .358 for the Petersburg Goobers. He moved to the Jacksonville Tarpons in 1915 and hit .269, then batted .271 for the 1916 Greensboro Patriots, his average having stayed within a four-point range over a four-year period. His last action came in 1919 for the Spinners, hitting .251 and slugging .318.
Overall, Laval hit .253 in 954 known minor league games and posted a 42-37 record.
Later, he served as baseball, basketball, and football coach at Furman University (1908, 1912-1927), Erskine College (1908-1911), the University of South Carolina (1928-1934), Emory & Henry College (1936-1937), and Newberry College (1938-1950). He was the college coach for Carl Cashion, George Jeffcoat, Dave Coble, Blackie Carter, Elbert Andrews, Art Jones and Cal Cooper; while both Furman and South Carolina produced multiple major leaguers while he was there, neither school produced a major leaguer for a few decades after Laval left.