Next up in our "Random Retro Baseball Player" series is Von Hayes...
Years Played: 1981-1992.
Teams Played For: Cleveland Indians(81-82), Philadelphia Phillies(83-91), California Angels(92).
Positions: Right Field(557 games), First Base(401 games), Center Field(398 games), Left Field(207 games), Third Base(23 games).
Career Line: .267 AVG, 767 R, 1402 H, 143 HR, 696 RBI, 253 SB, .354 OBP, .416 SLG, .770 OPS, 113 OPS+.
Best Season: Arguable(and feel free to show your opinion) , so here's his two best...
1986- .305 AVG, 107 R, 186 H, 19 HR, 98 RBI, 24 SB, 74 BB, 77 K, .379 OBP, .480 SLG, .859 OPS, 132 OPS+.
1987- .277 AVG, 84 R, 154 H, 21 HR, 84 RBI, 16 SB, 121 BB, 77 K, .404 OBP, .473 SLG, .877 OPS, 129 OPS+.
Awards/Leaderboard: NL All-Star In 1989.
8th In 1986 NL MVP Voting.
Led NL In Runs Scored In 1986(107).
Led NL In Extra Base Hits In 1986(67).
Led NL In Doubles In 1986(46).
Top 10 In NL On-Base Percentage 3 Times: 1986(.379, 6th), 1987(.404, 7th), 1989(.376, 9th).
Top 10 In NL Walks 4 Times: 1986(74, 9th), 1987(121, 2nd), 1989(101, 2nd), 1990(87, 5th).
Fun Facts: Von Hayes was a seventh round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1979 amateur draft, and was playing in the majors two years later for them. However, in the winter prior to the 1983 season, Hayes was shipped to the Phillies in an extremely bizarre trade. The Phillies thought so highly of Hayes, that they sent the Indians five players(Manny Trillo, Julio Franco, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, and Jerry Willard) in exchange for just him. The trade led to a pressure-filled nickname of "Five-for-One" for the young Hayes.
On June 11, 1985, Hayes hit two home runs in the first inning, making him the first player in MLB history to do so. He led off the game with a homer, then hit a grand slam later in the inning.
In 1991, Hayes was hit by a pitch from Reds All-Star Tom Browning, which broke his arm. While he'd return to action later in the year and play some in 1992, his career was essentially ended on the hit-by-pitch.
From 2003-2005, Hayes managed in the minor leagues. He managed South Bend(Level A-Diamondbacks ) in 2003, Modesto(Level A Advanced-Athletics) in 2004, and Midland(Level AA-Athletics) in 2005, putting together a terrific combined record of 240-176(.577 winning %) for those clubs. This past October he was hired to be manager by an Independent league team, the Camden Riversharks.
Hayes was always a fan favorite in Philadelphia, and is still referenced frequently there. In fact, there's even a rock band named Von Hayes in the area, and there's a shot(goldschlager, blue curacao, and sprite) named after him that can be had at the area bars. Lastly, he's mentioned in A Very Sunny Christmas, a DVD Christmas special that was released in the last year for the television series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
My Take: The last thing I wrote in the "fun facts" is what made me think of using Von Hayes for our latest "random retro" piece. I own the Sunny Christmas special and immediately laughed when I heard his name mentioned. Why would I laugh at that? Well, Von Hayes is a pretty cool name for one. Second, while he was a very good player, he's not the type of player you'd expect to hear about on a television show 17 years after his career was over.
Hayes' offensive game would probably be more respected now than it was when he played, because of how much he got on base. Beginning in his 1986 season where he received MVP votes, he began drawing a lot of walks. And the following season that was really the case, where he walked a whopping 121 times, which was 47 more times than the 1986 season. That's while striking out the same amount of times(77) as the 1986 season.
Hayes was a very good all around player, and his statistics would look much better if not for the last two seasons of his career(.589 OPS in 1991, .631 in 1992). Two 20+ homer seasons, two 100+ walk seasons, seven 20+ stolen base seasons(with his career-worst in caught stealings being just 13), and four+ .800 OPS seasons make for some very impressive numbers for his era.
Link to Von Hayes' Baseball-Reference Page
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