12/9/10 – This Day in Legend History… Von Hayes and Juan Samuel

Photo Day 1989

One of Chris Berman’s most famous signature “punny” nicknames was given to long-time Phillie Von Hayes. Von “Purple” Hayes also had another nickname bestowed upon him by the Philadelphia Phaithful, although this one wasn’t quite as whimsical or endearing. On this day in 1982, Hayes secured the nickname “5 for 1” when he was traded to the Phillies from the Cleveland Indians for five players (Manny Trillo, Julio Franco, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, and Jerry Willard). This is not a rare transaction, especially when it involves an established player. But when the player in question has only one full, modestly successful season under his belt AND the other players involved included a veteran All-Star and Phillies folk hero in Trillo, and a prospect who went on to have a very long and successful career in Franco… the target was placed on his back before the ink even dried. 

Hayes didn’t quite live up to the huge billing he got, but he provided very solid and steady numbers at the plate, being a very good compliment to Mike Schmidt in the middle of the lineup. He helped the team to the 1983 World Series in his first year with the team and was 8th in the MVP voting in 1986. In his nine seasons with the Phillies, probably his most famous moment came in 1985 against the New York Mets. In the bottom of the opening frame, Hayes became the first player ever in MLB history to hit two home runs in the same inning. That would be a sign of things to come for the rest of the game as the Phillies went on to a 26-7 victory. In 1989, three months after the above picture was taken, Hayes hit three home runs in one game against the San Francisco Giants. 

On December 8, 1991, Hayes was traded to the California Angels where he only played 94 more games before retiring, never recovering from a broken arm resulting from a pitch from Tom Browning in the season before. Since then, Von continues to succeed as a minor league manager.

Oh… one of the players involved in the 1991 trade? Ruben Amaro Jr.


On this day, we also wish a very Happy Birthday to Juan Samuel!


I forgot to mention my favorite Mike Lieberthal story in my post on 12/6. My friends and I made a last minute decision to go see the Phillies play the Atlanta Braves on 4/10/98. Curt Schilling was facing Greg Maddux and we could not pass up this opportunity to see these two monsters of pitching face each other. We got there about 45 minutes late, thinking the game was still in it’s early stages. We were all aghast when we saw it was already the bottom of the 5th! As advertised, it was an incredible pitcher’s duel. It was such knock down-drag out fight. Mike Lieberthal came up with two on and one out and singled to center off of Mike Cather who was replaced for Greg Maddux. Game over. Even though it was early in the year and the prospects of the Phillies making any push for the playoffs were thin, the crowd that night was electric. There was nothing more satisfying than beating the hated Atlanta Braves at their own game. Thank you Lieby for providing a fantastic win.

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