He was a Giant? Tim Layana feature by Tony the Tiger Hayes

Tim Layana who on pitched just one game for the San Francisco Giants in 1993 is the featured subject on He was a Giant? (baseball card of Layana from Fleer Pro Cards)

One Game Was Enough

Tim Layana – RHP – 1993 – # 36

He was a Giant?

By Tony the Tiger Hayes

SAN FRANCISCO–It’s not often you see a pitcher with a four figure ERA and it’s even more unusual to see a club dump a player after just one game – but that was the tale of Layana’s Giants career which lasted all of a single summer day at Candlestick Park.

Two innings, five earned runs (22.45 ERA) and it was, uh, Tim can we have the uniform back?

The Giants got blown out by the visiting Dodgers, 15-1 that day, with Layana and fellow short-term hurler Gino Minutelli taking a beating out of the pen.

“Tim and Gino took one for the team and didn’t complain about it,” said Giants manager Dusty Baker.

But all good vibes aside it wasn’t enough to keep Layana around. The next day he was sent back to the minors where he remained the rest of his professional career which continued through 1997.

Before & After

A big, hard-thrower out of the Los Angeles area, Layana was a star at Loyola Marymount College where he established 14 school pitching records -including both season and career wins – and led the school to the 1986 College World Series.

Layana was also a lesser known, if not steady, member of the Reds 1990 World Championship team bullpen.

Big and burly and a bit of a hot head, Layana fit in perfectly in the Reds “Nasty Boys” bullpen along with the loathsome Randy Myers, quick-tempered Norm Charlton and obnoxious Rob Dibble.

Originally inked by the Yankees, Layana got into a tiff with Bucky Dent, his Triple-A manager, and was left exposed in the 1989 Rule 5 draft where he was quickly scooped up by the Reds.

Layana did not apparently grasp the romanticism of wearing the Yankee Pinstripes.

“I’m not Joe DiMaggio. I wasn’t born to be a Yankee,” Layana said in 1990. “I grew up in LA and Yankees tradition didn’t mean much to me. I was a Dodgers fan.”

As a rookie Layana went 5-3, 3.49 in 55 game out of the Reds bullpen and was part of the Reds 1990 world championship club that shockingly swept the heavily favored Oakland A’s in four.

In 1991 however he struggled and spent all of 1992 in the minors.

Layana was added to the Giants spring bullpen mix in 1993, but with a relief staff already stacked with the likes of Rod Beck, Mike Jackson, Dave Righetti and Kevin Rogers – Layana began the season a Tripe-A Phoenix.

He got his shot in San Francisco after a strong performance out of the Phoenix bullpen where he saved eight games in 42 appearances.

He wasn’t Dave Righetti. But…

The Giants enjoyed one of their best regular seasons ever in 1993, winning 103 games. They began July 26 with an eight game lead over the Braves that day but, with the Dodgers visiting Candlestick Park that Monday night the Orange & Black dropped a rotten egg.

San Francisco starter Bryan Hickerson was roasted for six earned runs and didn’t survive the third inning.

Layana came on and was roasted for five earned runs on seven hits – including a two-run homer by Henry Rodriguez – in two innings of relief in a 15-1 home beat down by the Dodgers.

Layana made Giants fans temporarily happy by retiring future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza on a ground out that day.

Giant Footprint

Layana was tragically killed in 1998 when the SUV he was driving was broadsided by another automobile in Bakersfield. Layana who was not wearing a seat beat was thrown from the vehicle and killed instantly. He was 35, had a family, and had just embarked on a high school coaching career in Southern California.