They had already traded five players for him, so when Rightfielder Von Hayes requested No. 9 as his uniform number, the Phillies were eager to accommodate him. Manager Pat Corrales, who already had switched from 8 to 18 when Joe Morgan arrived, also wanted 9 in time for the season, but was willing to take 5. Coach Mike Ryan, who was 5, then opted for 25. That number belonged to Outfielder Bob Molinaro, who was assigned 26, which had been Hayes' number in the first place. Have you got that?
By all accounts, the 24-year-old Hayes will prove worth the trouble. Philadelphia acquired him from Cleveland during the winter meetings in exchange for All-Star Second Baseman Manny Trillo, Outfielder George Vukovich and three of its best prospects. Hayes can do all of the clichés: run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power. He batted only .250 in his rookie season with the Indians, but along with that came 32 stolen bases and 82 RBIs, 11 of them game-winners. Anyway, he wasn't wearing his lucky number last year. As No. 9 in his first two minor league seasons, he hit .329 and .314.
Hayes likes No. 9 because his hero is Ted Williams. In fact, at 6'4", 185 pounds, Hayes could be the Splendid Splinter II. "My father, Don, is from Brockton, Mass., and he loved Williams," says Hayes. "I inherited that. Dad made me a lefthanded hitter because of him. I learned a lot from Williams' hitting book." Hayes' father was a tail-gunner who was shot down over Germany in World War II, and he named his son after Sergeant Von, a kindly German prison guard.
Hayes and Morgan, who replaces Trillo at second, give the Phillies two lefthanded hitters they need so badly in a league dominated by righthanded pitchers. Philadelphia should be a much better offensive team than a year ago, provided all the injuries heal. Third Baseman Mike Schmidt had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Leftfielder Gary Matthews had his left knee drained and Centerfielder Garry Maddox had a slight shoulder separation.
The pitching, though, is about as thin as Hayes. After the world's highest-paid hurler, Steve Carlton, the staff declines sharply to such mortals as Dick Ruthven, Larry Christenson, John Denny and Marty Bystrom. Al Holland, a lefthander with one of the best fastballs in the majors, was obtained from San Francisco to be the stopper in the bullpen.
The Phillies are hoping 100 is their magic number because this is their 100th anniversary. On May 1 the team will admit all 100-year-old fans free, and 93-year-old John Enzmann will throw out the first ball. The year should be historic for other reasons. Carlton needs 15 wins for 300 in his career, and First Baseman Pete Rose is only 131 hits away from 4,000. Rose, who'll be 42 soon, and Carlton, 38, should reach those figures around Aug. 27, which is Old-Timers' Night.
In spite of his worst start ever (0-4), Steve Carlton finished at 23-11 and proved his slider could still slide with the best. Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt, however, merely slid, Rose batting .271, and Schmidt hitting .222 with men in scoring position, lowest among the starters. Philly's bullpen had only 33 saves in 64 chances, and its pinch hitters batted a meager .217 with 23 RBIs in 189 at bats.