November 19, 2007 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
LANCASTER, Pa.-From a list of candidates that included a Baseball Hall-of-Famer, a former Major League manager, and a local baseball icon, the Lancaster Barnstormers have chosen a former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star to lead the team into its fourth season. The Barnstormers today announced Von Hayes will be their field manager in 2008.
Hayes will be formally introduced during a meet-and-greet beginning at noon on Monday, Nov. 26 in the Wheatland Suite at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Hayes, along with Barnstormers front office personnel, will be available for comment. Members of the press are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.
"I can't imagine a better place than Lancaster to manage in minor league baseball," Hayes said. "The facilities and the organization are first class, and I am truly excited to be back in the Philly area. I'm looking forward to working with the veteran professionals in the Atlantic League and giving them every opportunity to get back to Major League Baseball. Our coaches & players will be as committed to winning as our front office for our loyal fans whose support and enthusiasm I have heard so much about."
Hayes began his coaching career in 2002 as a hitting coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks Class A affiliate in South Bend, Ind. In 2003, the Oakland Athletics named Hayes manager of their Class A affiliate in Modesto, Calif., and in 2005 promoted him to manage the A's double-A club in Midland, Texas. In his four years managing in the Diamondbacks and Athletics systems, Hayes won two championships and posted a 318-237 record.
Hayes has twice been named manager of the year, after managing Modesto to a California League championship in 2004, and after leading Midland to the Texas League title in 2005.
A number of Hayes' players went on to Major League baseball, including Conner Jackson, Dustin Nippert and Tony Pena of Arizona, Jerry Gil of the Cincinnati Reds, Omar Quintanilla of the Colorado Rockies, and Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton and Travis Buck of the Oakland Athletics.
Hayes was chosen from a distinguished pool of candidates that included Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter, former Baltimore Orioles catcher Andy Etchebarren, former Boston Red Sox skipper Butch Hobson, former New York Mets infielder and successful minor league manager Wally Bachman and Tom Herr, who led the Barnstormers to the Atlantic League title in 2006. Each candidate the Barnstormers interviewed has managed a club to at least one championship.
"We've never interviewed a pool of candidates this qualified, and it's a great tribute to Von that he rose to the top of such an impressive group of managers," said Keith Lupton, Barnstormers Vice President of Baseball Operations. "We are so impressed by Von's approach to managing, his baseball philosophy and his passion for winning. He has connections in baseball organizations across the country and has a proven track record of getting the most out of his players."
Hayes' managing career follows a prolific 12-year Major League career with the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies and California Angels. He was acquired by the Phillies in 1982 in the famous "five-for-one" deal that sent Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, Jerry Willard and Julio Franco from Philadelphia to the Cleveland Indians. Hayes' best season came in 1986 when he hit .305 and led the league in runs, doubles and extra-base hits. In 1989, Hayes was named to the National League All-Star team.
The Barnstormers and Hayes also announced that Rick Wise will return for his fourth season as Barnstormers pitching coach. Wise, a former Phillies pitcher who famously threw a no-hitter and hit two home runs in the same game, has been the Barnstormers pitching coach since the team's inaugural season. In addition to his 18-year playing career, Wise has more than 20 years of coaching experience, including serving as the Barnstormers interim manager in the second half of the 2007 season.
The Barnstormers expect to announce a hitting coach in the near future.
Hayes, Wise and the 2008 Barnstormers will debut on April 25, 2008 when Lancaster hosts the Bridgeport Bluefish on Opening Night at Clipper Magazine Stadium.