Catching up with ... Von Hayes

Catching up with ... Von Hayes

Von Hayes has bounced around a little since he took off his big-league uniform after the 1992 season. He had been living in St. Petersburg, Fla., moved to Illinois and is back again in St. Petersburg.

Hayes dabbled in selling boats -- "one thing I learned about the boating industry, it's tough to sell boats," he said with a chuckle.

The lure of the baseball uniform was tugging at him. He tossed his hat in the ring as a coach at his alma mater, St. Mary's College in California. Five years ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks put him in a uniform again as a hitting coach with Class A South Bend in the Midwest League.

He was promoted to South Bend's manager the following season and managed three more years in the Oakland Athletics system, with Class A Modesto and Double-A Midland. In four years, he won two championships and posted a 318-237 record. When the A's asked him to return to Midland again in 2007, he decided against it.

"I had given myself five years to try and make a mark that would get me to the Majors in some capacity," said the 48-year-old. "My family had sacrificed a great deal when I was managing. I still have the urge, but thought it was time to back off for a year or two."

He and Stephanie have a 14-year-old daughter, Taylor, and an 11-year-old son, Conner. Conner is playing Little League Baseball and is into basketball, while Taylor is active on a traveling volleyball team and learning to play tennis.

"Being with my kids is great," Hayes said. "I'm really enjoying it."

Hayes was one of the most versatile players to wear a Phillies uniform. He was a starter in right field, center field and first base. He also played third base on occasion.

His biggest game in a Phillies uniform game 22 years ago on June 11, when he became the first player ever to hit two home runs in the first inning -- a solo shot and a grand slam. He finished with six RBIs as the Phillies crushed the Mets, 26-7, at the Vet.

Hayes is also in the Phillies record book for most at-bats in a game (seven, June 5, 1991). He and Andy Seminick share the club record for total bases in an inning (eight). Hayes was the first Phillies player to drive in five runs in an inning.

In 1986, he led the NL in doubles (46) and tied for the most runs scored (107) when he led the Phillies with a .305 average.

His fondest moments in playing in Philadelphia included being in the 1983 World Series, representing the Phillies in the 1989 All-Star Game and the closing of Veterans Stadium.