Schley Clayton

Image Chester Schley Clayton, also known as Slay Clayton and Shimmy Clayton, born August 1st, 1898 in Arkansas1 , was a professional baseball player from 1920-1927. He was the twin brother of Dewey Clayton.


Clayton was the son of Walker Clayton and Sarah Cope and grew up in Hardy, Sharp, AR. He may have been named after Winfred Scott Schley who at the time of Clayton's was well-known for his heroics in the Spanish American War.

Clayton earliest known venture into professional baseball was with Oakland in 19182 . He trained with the club that spring, but was let go in late March3 . Instead, Clayton caught on with the Aberdeen Black Cats. However, he played only a few games as a pinch hitter before he was released in mid-May4 .

Clayton played with Durham, NC in 1920. In early September, it was announced that he had been sold to the Detroit Tigers who in turn sent him to Toledo to finish the season5 6 .

In January, 1921, The Sporting News published a brief notice about Clayton. The piece noted that Clayton was "quick as lightning on the bases and in the field" and that he was spending the winter at his home in Hardy, AR where he was playing basketball7 . Soon afterward, Detroit ordered Clayton to report to Fort Smith, AR where the Omaha club was training. Clayton failed to make the Omaha club, but succeeded in securing a position with the local Fort Smith Western Association club. He spent the 1921 season there, hitting .262 in 1939 games.

In the spring of 1922, Clayton played with the Coalinga Giants of the San Joaquin Valley League along side his twin brother Dewey8 . From there, he moved on to Clarksdale where he spent the 1922 season, and from there to Okmulgee in 19239 .

Clayton had a successful tenure between 1924-1926 playing third base for the Augusta Tygers. He was retained for the 1927 season too, but was converted to a pitcher10 . In his first appearance for Augusta as a pitcher, Clayton walked three batters in only one inning of relief11 . A few days later, he made his first start, walkeing nine men in seven and one-third innings and taking the loss12 . The result was that Clayton was moved back to third base before he was ultimately released in early May13 . Clayton, instead once again returned to Durham where he finished the season.

Earlier in 1927, Clayton was among dozens of baseball players who offered their services in the making of the 1927 film Casey at the bat14 .

In what was perhaps one last attempt at professional baseball, Clayton tried out with the Chicago Cubs at Avalon, Saint Catalina Island, CA in the spring of 192815 . After not apparently making the club, Clayton took a job working in the oil fields there in California16 . He and his wife Hildred, who he had married in 1925, lived in California the rest of their lives.

Clayton died on April 17th, 1969 in Los Angeles, CA17 and buried in Westminster Memorial Park Cemetery18 .


The following are various excerpts pertaining to Schley Clayton:

"Clayton comes from Harde, AR and had a trial with the Oakland Coast League team last season."19

"The writer is in receipt of a letter from Shimmy Clayton, fast little third baseman and general utility man of the locals [Durham] last season, who was sent to Detroit, and from there to Toledo. Clayton writes that he reports to Omaha next season, and if pep, good will and natural ability count, the Arkansas flash should make good. He is quick as lightning on the bases and in the field. Clayton needs only experience to make a good Class A player. He is spending the winter at Hardy, AR, his home, where he is playing basketball"20

"Schley Clayton began with Aberdeen, June, 1918; released, June, 1918; Durham, February 1920; sold to Detroit August, 1920; Toledo, September, 1920; Omaha, December 1920; Fort Smith, April 1921; Clarksdale, May, 1922; Omaha, May, 1922; released, May, 1922; Okmulgee, April 1923; Augusta, March, 1924; reserved for 1925-1926." 21


1918 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1920 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1921 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1923 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1924-1927 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.
1 Clayton's WWI Draft Card
2 Oakland Tribune, 3/4/1918
3 Oakland Tribune, 3/30/1918
4 Oregonian, 5/13/1918
5 Miami Herald, 9/3/1920
6 Atlanta Constitution, 9/9/1920
7 The Sporting News, 1/27/1921
8 Bakersfield Californian, 4/3/1922
9 The Sporting News, 1/27/1921
10 Augusta Chronicle, 3/25/1927
11 Augusta Chronicle, 4/24/1927
12 Augusta Chronicle, 4/29/1927
13 Augusta Chronicle, 5/9/1927
14 Uniontown Morning Herald, 3/25/1927
15 Oregonian, 2/22/1929
16 1930 U.S. Census
17 California Death Index
18 Independent Press-Telegram, 4/19/1969
19 The Sporting News, 3/18/1920
20 The Sporting News, 1/27/1921
21 The Sporting News, 12/16/1926