I was recently watching the latest episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia when Mac (the second biggest Chase Utley fan I've ever seen-that story is for later) began a tirade about the likes of Mike Schmidt and Von Hayes. Now, we all know who Mike Schmidt is, but I'm here to enlighten you on the career of Von Hayes.
That man knows how to wear eyeblack.
Von Hayes played from 1981 to 1992, coming up with the Cleveland Indians then moving to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he spent the majority of his career patrolling the outfield at The Vet. He had 8 exceptionally productive seasons with the Phillies in which he posted an above average WAR, peaking in 1989 with a 5.1 WAR and an All Star selection. Remarkably, Von was traded to the Phillies in a 6 player deal which netted the Indians a slue of talent including Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, Jerry Willard, and Julio Franco. (Copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia).
Some interesting facts about Von is that he is the first player ever to hit 2 home runs in the first inning of a game. Hayes was hit by a pitch against Houston hurler Tom Browning. A pitch that would end up breaking his fucking arm and ending the productive portion of his career. A tidbit that I feel compelled to throw in here: well known douche bag Chris Berman's nickname for him was, you would never have guessed this...
Von "Purple" Hayes
I continue to be amazed at how Chris Berman has had a job for so long.
I would be ashamed if I didn't give you any of his stats, so here we go...
Career: 11 seasons, 1,495 G/1,402 H/143 HR/767 R/696 RBI/253 SB/.267 AVG/.354 OBP/.416 SLUG.
I think it is safe to say that Hayes would have been a pretty good top of the order guy. I have never seen him play, and have no idea where he batted in their lineup, but with above average on base numbers and he clearly displayed good speed throughout his career. Actually, analyzing his numbers a little more, his career goes through several quick shifts. Early on he was purely a speed guy, stealing 48 bags in 1984. Then he quickly transitioned to an on base percentage machine in the '85 and '86 seasons, posting .376 and .404 OBP, respectively. Then in the last two years, he displayed power to the tune of 26 HR in 1989 and 17 HR in 1990.
As far as his career is concerned I'm not sure if I would label him as a consistent player his BB%, K%, and SLUG were all quite erratic, but none the less he produced each and every year in a different way.
Well my curiosity was piqued by Always Sunny, and I'm glad I got to take this trip into Christmas Past with Von Hayes.