100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 34 – Von Hayes

Von Hayes
Outfielder
1983-1991

Career w/Phillies: .272 AVG / 124 HR / 568 RBI / 202 SB

Von Hayes hit 14 home runs, drove in 82, stole 32 bases and hit .250 for the Cleveland Indians in 1982. That resume was enough for the Phillies to trade five players (including Julio Franco) to Cleveland for Hayes, a trade that would define the Phillies for the rest of the decade. Hayes wasn’t a bad player — in fact, he was very good. He was an extremely disciplined player, walking more than 100 times twice. And when he got on base, he reeked havoc, stealing at least 20 bases six times, including a 48-SB outburst in 1984. Between that year and 1987, Hayes slammed 69 homers, hitting into the .280s. He suffered an injury that kept him sidelined in 1988, but he rebounded tremendously in 1989 with a career-high 26 homers. But Hayes got hurt too much, and after a poor 1991 season, was traded to the Angels, where he finished his career.

Comment: A strong five-tool player, Hayes wasn’t quite the face of the franchise, but was a solid player for most of nine seasons in Philadelphia. He could field and throw, hit and homer and, of course, run. He was so fast his name became fodder in “Major League.” Better than being known as five-for-one.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. folkfish

    February 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    What the Phillies could have been if they didn’t need Von Hayes and Ivan DeJesus so badly.

    Julio Franco and Ryne Sanberg together for a decade could have been part of a dynasty.

  2. Jim

    February 21, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Didnt he hit two homers in the first inning? as far as i know hes the only player to ever do so

  3. folkfish

    February 21, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    He hit a home run and a grand slam in the first inning, in a game in which I believe the starter was Calvin Schiraldi.

  4. Joe

    February 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Um…for what it’s worth, the ‘Hayes’ in Major League was not Von, but ‘Bullet’ Bob Hayes – Olympic runner & NFL Hall-of-Famer.

  5. Chapps

    February 21, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    This is just about the right spot for “The poor man’s white Darryl Strawberry”, although he was my favorite player growing up and is still in the top 2. In ’84 I caught a ball that he throw into the stand in right after warm-ups before the game, that was the highlight of my childhood. I remember watching him go yard twice in the first against the Mets back in ’85. I remember sitting on my parents couch in 1990 and watching him start the rally in the eight with a 2 run double, and keeping it alive in the 9th by running hard on a routine grounder to 2nd, which were key plays in the Phillies coming back from 10 down to the Dodgers. Oh and there was absolutely no chance at all that he was juicing.

  6. Greg V.

    February 21, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Von Hayes’ grand slam and another home run in the first inning was classic Phililes but 34 seems WAY TOO HIGH for 5 for 1! If you have time for a nice long drive to Lancaster, he is the manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers (and Rick Wise is the pitching coach). Not a bad spot to catch some minor league ball on a nice summer afternoon.

  7. folkfish

    February 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Also remember that while Von was a good base stealer, he was an awful base runner. It was not unusal to see him picked off.

    Speaking of which, where’s Rick Bosetti on this list?

  8. Jason B.

    February 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Got picked off staring at the planes flying over head… he was an airhead. Solid player though.

  9. IRONPIGPEN

    February 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    it’s always going to be hard to live up to a 5 for 1 deal hype – Von was okay

  10. Steve.M.

    February 21, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Von was the player that was chosen to shag flies in the Florida Suncoast Dome (you may know it as Tropicana Field) in St. Petersbug to test whether the roof was ok for players to see the fly balls against the white roof. At the time the Suncoast Dome was touted as the worlds largest venue for garage sales although it was built to draw a team to the Tampa Bay area. (Sorry, I went to college in Tampa and this is my main memory of Von).

  11. Jack

    February 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I worked as an usher back in 1985 at the Vet – Here is the info – June 11, 1985 – Von and the Phillies beat the METS 26-7…It was the highlight of my time in college watching those BAD TEAMS….1985-1989….

    June 11 – In a 26-7 romp over the New York Mets, Von Hayes of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the first inning of a game. Hayes led off the bottom of the first with a homer, then hit a grand slam later in the frame. Those were the only two home runs hit in the high-scoring affair.

  12. MadSon

    February 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    You know you hit the big time when someone puts together an All-Star team named after you, even if it isn’t in a good way.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-2008-von-hayes-all-stars/

  13. BriGuy

    February 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    My favorite player of all time. I own three pages of his rookie card.

  14. steve

    February 22, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Folkfish has it right. My memories of Von Hayes were of him repeatedly being picked off, mostly while daydreaming on second base.

  15. MDefl

    February 22, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I think Von was much better than he was given credit for by the fans in Phillies. The problem was not him. The Phils really did not have strong teams during his run except at the very beginning. He never lived up to his billing. Some were calling him the next Ted Williams. That was unfair.

    He was a solid, above average ball player. 34 is probably about right for him on this list. I still cannot get over Randy Lerch being on the list though.

    Greg, thanks for the info on Lancaster. I had no idea that Hayes was managing in Lancaster. I also think Wise is one of the most underrated pitchers of all-time.

  16. Matt Kwasiborski

    February 22, 2009 at 9:52 am

    The new Phillies ownership thought they had the next best thing when they traded for him. These things I remember about Hayes:
    1. His wide-open batting stance that was something you would never teach to a little leaguer
    2. The fact that the Phils turned down the Expos offer of Rock Raines straight up for Hayes after the 85 of 86 season.

    His career best defines the beginnings of the new Phils ownership and their lack of baseball acumen.

  17. the lopez!

    February 22, 2009 at 10:01 am

    are the pickings this slim that we count von hayes in the greatest 100 phillies?

    if this is the case will “losing pitcher” mulcahy be gracing this list?

  18. kathie Brenneman

    February 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

    “reeked” havoc?

  19. Brooks

    February 22, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Von Hayes atop of Nails? Atop of Hamels?
    What are the criteria again? Perhaps I missed something – As much as most of us like Von Hayes it was too difficult to let go of the “5 for 1” monicker.

  20. hamels' left hand

    February 22, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I often can’t help but see Von Hayes (albeit from the other side of the plate and a less unusual batting stance) when I see Jayson Werth…his game, tools, even sometimes airheaded demeanor remind me of, up until Ryan Howard, my all time favorite Phightin’…

  21. Joel

    February 22, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Stop it with this Julio Franco business, the guy was nothing more than an average player his whole career! He mightve made the all star team once or twice but that doesnt mean he is an all-time great! He was what von hayes was, a decent player! For what it’s worth Von Hayes had a few very good seasons, but overall he was average. If he was on the yankees, he might not of made the yankees top 100, (or if he did he would be #99). But, he is on the Phillis Top 100 and he is #34, which even though is in the top half ahead of cole and the dude, he still was ont he team longer than both of those players so he has more body of work to show. Now that will hopefully change with Cole as his career progresses…

  22. Tim Malcolm

    February 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    the lopez!: Hayes is certainly worthy of this list. He was a steadily fine offensive player for a handful of seasons.

    Kathie: Reeked and wreaked are both acceptable.

    Brooks: If you’re arguing his placement in comparison you’re arguing apples and oranges. Hamels? It’s tough to give extremely high placement to someone because of two full seasons.

  23. Tim Malcolm

    February 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    the lopez!: Hayes is certainly worthy of this list. He was a steadily fine offensive player for a handful of seasons.

    Kathie: Reeked and wreaked are both acceptable.

    Brooks: If you’re arguing his placement in comparison to Dykstra you’re arguing apples and oranges. Hamels? It’s tough to give extremely high placement to someone because of two full seasons.

  24. mde77

    February 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    “Julio Franco and Ryne Sanberg together for a decade could have been part of a dynasty.”

    Exactly.

    Don’t remember Von Hayes being thought of as a speedster. I might have been asleep during his non-descript era.

    Von Hayes 20 spots higher than Pete Rose. 40 spots higher than Bake McBride.

    This list has been VERY disrespectful of the 76′-83′ Phillies.

    Much too respectful of the 87′-99′ Phillies.

  25. Bruce

    February 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Von Hayes along with Dyksra were probably 24 yr old Tim’s first favorite players he followed as a Phillies fan. 😉

  26. ryan

    February 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    wow. i gotta disagree major on this one. Von Hayes should be somewhere around 60 in my opinion. i’d have dykstra, dutch, and especially pete rose way ahead of him.

  27. folkfish

    February 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Julio Franco had seven full seasons in which he hit .300 or better, with a career batting average of .298.

    Von Hayes hit over .300 once with a career average of .267.

    No comparison.

  28. Bruce

    February 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    This a test as my posts seem to have taken a detour and is lost on the superhighway of information.

  29. bigbobstet

    February 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    This list has been a great read, but I believe that a player’s individual “Phillies” value goes way up if he contributes meaningfully to one of the playoff teams: 15, 50, 76-78, 80, 83, 93, 07-08…despite great individual, long-term success. Yes, the Phillies never surrounded Von Hayes with a lot of talent, but to be placed 34 on this list, despite going 0 for 3 in the 83 WS, could de-value a player who did help the team make a run, and contribute a big moment when it truly counted…in the playoffs. Just a thought.

  30. ryan

    February 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    i always thought of hayes as a complete stiff to be honest.

  31. ashmidt

    February 22, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    really came across as a prima donna, bill giles thought he was smarter then everyone else, they were the dark ages, iam so glad he was put out to pasture.

  32. kathie Brenneman

    February 23, 2009 at 9:20 am

    tim: reeked havoc is absolutely not correct. “reeked” and “wreaked” are totally different words, not interchangeable.

    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors

  33. Johnson

    February 23, 2009 at 11:55 am

    tim…i think the play like mayes…run like hayes quote refers to bob hayes…cant imagine they would write a line for willie mays hayes comparing himself to von hayes…i remember being about 9 when that came out and asking my dad if that meant von hayes…his retort was something like this “son…gimme a god damn break and shut up”

  34. Chapps

    February 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    But with as absent minded as Willie Mayes Hayes was on the base paths at the beginning of Major League, sliding to early into second, getting picked off when the Yankees 1st baseman told him he shoes where untied, all sound like things that Von may have done.

  35. park

    February 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    @Chapps:

    Yeah, but I don’t remember Von Hayes doing push-ups after he popped one up…

    “You may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.” Classic.

  36. Tim Malcolm

    February 27, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Going back in time to throw down my golden hammer.

    Hayes had an OPS+ of over 100 for SEVEN CONSECUTIVE SEASONS.

    Again, I repeat, Bowa NEVER had an OPS+ of over 100. And he was actually higher ranked on the list.

    I will take the fault for “wreaked,” which is one of the few words I seem to have trouble with. And for the Major League reference. Nobody ever clarified that, and considering the line was uttered in 1988, you’d think Von was the subject. Alas.

    Hayes was a good player. I just think people have something against the Phillies of the mid and late 80s.

    And stop with the Tim is young shit. Seriously. It’s old. It’s tired. My favorite players weren’t Von Hayes and Lenny Dykstra. Though Nails was a favorite. By the way, when I was 12-13 I fell in love with the 1980 Phillies through yearbooks and parental recollections. And I loved Bake McBride and Larry Christenson. Oh, and my dad told me a lot about the ’64 Phils. So I became enamored by Dick Allen.

    Yes, I know, crazy that I would like people who played before I was born.

    Yes, my favorite player is Chase Utley.

    Before him it was MICKEY MORANDINI.

    Is he on the list?

    Shut up, people.

  37. MJD78

    March 9, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    As a kid growing up in Philly I just loved Von Hayes. I saw him play 4 – 5 times a year and he got a hit every time. As for the 5 for 1 thing…. Oh well I never really knew about that back then. Go # 9!

  38. Sixto Lescano

    March 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    band named Von Hayes:

    http://myspace.com/vonhayes09

  39. Mr. Rheaman

    May 13, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Personally, I thought the Phillies started with Bunning, Short, Wise, Allen, White, Callison, Taylor, Rojas, etc. Eventually, I learned to appreciate Roberts, Lajoie, Delahanty, Ferguson, Cravath, Klein, etc. My Daddy thought Roberts was better than Carlton. Grandpop thought Klein was better than Schmidt. Great Grandpa said no one could touch Delahanty. But then again, he also wore a tinfoil hat to keep the aliens from zapping his brain.

  40. Bob Stevens

    October 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I got to know Von when he managed the Midland, Tx Oakland A’s AA team. A really nice guy and not a primadonna at all. He left Lancaster last season and jusr signed as the Manager of the Camden, NJ Riversharks In the Atlanitc League. He was my favorite player in the 80’s and I became a Philies fan because of him. I wish him well in Camden. Go Phillies, Bob Stevens, Midland, Tx

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