An Oiche

Von Haze – Outside the Night

Von Hayes, a tough man to know. Maybe one of the saddest baseball players to ever step into the batter’s box. We used to call him “Von the Mon” in Philly, and that nickname may have had something to do with his persistently dour attitude. Once had a mustache which quickly disappeared, my theory at the time (when I was eight) being that it had leapt off his face to get away from him and was living the good life in Manayunk. Von, the Burgomaster of Bunts. He would bunt just to annoy a pitcher. He would bunt when he was scared. There were, as you can imagine, many grudging bunts, when he was forced to do so even though he didn’t feel inspired. More than a few angry bunts, where you could tell on the replay–by his grimace–that he was punishing the ball for some perceived slight, say, for zigging in the previous inning when he thought it would zag (Von didn’t realize, and no one had the heart to tell him, that they changed the balls frequently during the game). The best long-tosser I’ve ever seen. Von Hayes, you have a band named after you now.

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