Wayne Blackburn

From BR Bullpen

Wayne Tennyson Blackburn

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 165 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Wayne Blackburn was an infielder 19 years (1936-1956), all in the minor leagues (1936-1944; 1946-1954; 1956), losing one year to the Military and one year to inactivity. He then continued as a minor league manager and major league coach until 1969.

There is confusion regarding his birthdate. According to the TSN 1964 Baseball Register, he was Wayne Clark Blackburn, born July 10, 1916 at Mt. Joy OH. According to SABR's Minor League Stars, Volume III he was Wayne T. Blackburn, born January 10, 1917 at Harmon OH. Government VA Records has him as Wayne T. Blackburn, born July 10, 1914.

Blackburn drew over 1400 walks in 2016 minor league games. From 1948-1956, he had 715 hits and 742 walks in 711 games. He led the 1936 KITTY League with 124 runs, the 1943 American Association with 114 runs, and the 1951 KITTY with 116 runs. He also led the 1948 Southern Association with 36 SB.

Blackburn was actually player-manager at the end of the season in 1937 for the Peoria Reds of the Three-I League. Blackburn really began his managerial career in 1951 with the Owensboro Oilers. He moved to the Detroit Tigers organization, where he was a player-manager in the minors (1952-1954, 1956), minor league manager (1958, 1965-1966, 1968) and major league coach (1963-1964 and again in 1975).

His Kinston Eagles had the best record in the 1952 Coastal Plain League, as did the Augusta Tigers of the South Atlantic League he took over in mid-1958. His teams also lost in the playoffs in 1953 and 1954.

He managed the GCL Tigers in 1968. Also the Detroit entry in the Florida Instructional League in 1964, 1967 and 1969.

Blackburn would scout for the Detroit Tigers into at least the mid-1980s.

He married Jeanne Anderson on October 14, 1939. He served in the U.S. Army as a TEC 4 during World War II (1945). He had brown hair and blue eyes. He died at age 86 at a Veterans Administration Hospital in Portsmouth, OH [1] and is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1937 Peoria Reds Three-I League 3-9 4th Cincinnati Reds replaced Ben Tincup (42-57) on August 15
1951 Owensboro Oilers KITTY League 71-48 2nd none Lost League Finals
1952 Kinston Eagles Coastal Plain League 76-47 1st Detroit Tigers Lost in 1st round
1953 Wausau Timberjacks Wisconsin State League 76-49 2nd Detroit Tigers Lost League Finals
1954 Jamestown Falcons PONY League 59-28 2nd Detroit Tigers Lost League Finals replaced Danny Litwhiler (19-20) on June 21
1956 Jamestown Falcons PONY League 24-26 5th Detroit Tigers replaced Don Lund (4-2) on July 17
1958 Augusta Tigers South Atlantic League 46-41 1st Detroit Tigers Lost in 1st round replaced Stan Charnofsky (1-1) on June 12
1965 Montgomery Rebels Southern League 63-74 6th Detroit Tigers
1966 Montgomery Rebels Southern League 66-72 5th Detroit Tigers
1968 GCL Tigers Gulf Coast League 27-36 7th Detroit Tigers none

VA Hospital Records[edit]



Principal sources for Wayne Blackburn 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 (1964) (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 Baseball Stars, Volume III; The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright; The International League: Year-by-year Statistics, 1884-1953 by Marshall D. Wright; and The American Association: Year-By-Year Statistics for the Baseball Minor League, 1902-1952 by Marshall D. Wright and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

Related Sites[edit]