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Philadelphia Magazine – March 2009

Von Hayes

Phillies, 1983-’91

Last summer, when the Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers came up shorthanded, first-year manager Von Hayes activated himself, signing a $1 contract and releasing himself the same night. Fittingly, he’s most famous as a Phillie for an oddity: being the first major leaguer ever to hit two home runs in the first inning. “I was, like, one-for-18,” Hayes says of his shining moment on June 11, 1985. “I told my manager if I led off, I could get up more, get my hitting back. So for the first time in my career, I hit leadoff. And I hit a home run in the first inning, and we batted around, and the next time I came up, the bases were loaded, and I hit a grand slam.” The Phils won, 26-7. Hayes, now 50, isn’t sure why he remains a hot topic on Phillies sports blogs (in January, was musing on his nickname, “The poor man’s white Darryl Strawberry”), or why local rock band Von Hayes named itself after him. (“I doubt I’d go out of my way to hear them.”) But there’s something very Philly about Hayes: “I wasn’t someone you read too much about, on or off the field. I’m just a regular guy.”

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