Wayne Tolleson played for two years with the Staunton Braves in the Valley Baseball League – 1976 and 1977. In 1977 he hit .304 for the Braves, second best average on the team, and led the Braves with 24 stolen bases.

Tolleson played collegiately at Western Carolina where he was an all-conference player in both baseball and football. He set 10 program records while at Western Carolina. Tolleson was a two-time All-Southern Conference selection and in 1978 he was the Southern Conference Baseball Player of the Year and the Southern Conference Athlete of the Year. He was a member of the Southern Conference’s 75th Anniversary team and in 1990 he was inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. Tolleson was inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame in 2020.

The Pittsburgh Pirates chose Tolleson in the 12th round of the of the 1977 MLB draft, but he decided to return to school for his senior year. The Texas Rangers chose Tolleson with the 202nd pick of the 1978 MLB draft and this time he signed.

Tolleson played in the Major Leagues with the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. He made his MLB debut in 1981 and retired in 1990. He finished his career with a .241 batting average.