[Photo borrowed from this awesome guy’s blog]

Old “Five for One” was one of the few bright spots in South Philly in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Most of Von Hayes’ time with the Phillies was marked by mediocrity and the vast emptiness of an under-attended Veterans Stadium. Although you had the end of Schmidt’s career and other bright spots like Lenny Dykstra and John Kruk, maybe too much of my hope as a fan rested on Hayes. He was traded for five guys, including Julio Franco and George Vukovich, so that immediately put a target on his back. But did he live up to the hype? No way, although he was a good (and at times, very good) ball player, over the course of his career.

He’s also served as the inspiration for a bunch of indie rockers born in the late ’70s and ’80s. First we had the Delaware indie outfit four years named Von Hayes, who were 100% upfront about their love for the first baseman. You can read in this profile by John Finger. I think they made a good choice – they could have gone by Randy Ready.

A choice quote from the band:

“People ripped Von for never living up to what they expected him to be. Maybe that’s why we picked Von Hayes as our name. Maybe we’re the musical equivalents of him. Maybe Von Hayes and Von Hayes are one and the same.”

That’s deep, guys.

Nosing through the vast internet tonight, I came across another group that’s paying homage to #9, although I can’t find a mention of baseball-playing Von anywhere on their site. Von Haze, hailing from Brooklyn, are a dating couple who do some pretty awesome dark wave-inspired electro pop. And their debut album comes out later this year! Check out a video here.

P.S. – Read all you ever wanted to (and more!) about the original Von Hayes here.


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