August 31, 2011
Most Von Player
Von Hayes, 1990 Donruss
MC: Von Hayes, you’ve just won MVP of … something! What do you have to say for yourself?!
Von Hayes: Uh …
MC: Thank you! Let’s take a quick look at Von Hayes’ MVP season. Frank … FRANK! Turn on the projector!
Projector turns on … features a four-minute segment of Von Hayes in the on-deck circle taking a few swings, then crouching down, then scratching his groin. Footage cuts off, spliced with scenes from Frank’s second wedding.
MC: Wonderful. I don’t think there’s a dry eye in the house right now.
Crowd begins to chant: Speech! Speech! Speech!
MC: Get on up here, Von!
Von Hayes: Thank you. I hadn’t planned on saying anything, but … (pulls out piece of paper, puts on glasses). When Donruss called me to tell me I had been named MVP, I was happy, but surprised. Almost as surprised as I was when they took my picture for the card. (Crowd unsure if this is self-deprecating humor, as Hayes’ tone suggests anger. There is nervous laughter.) I guess I’m still not actually sure what I’m being named MVP of. Is it the Phillies? (Turns to his left for confirmation; MC shrugs his shoulders.) Okay, well, uh, anyway … When I had my elbow operated on in ’88, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to return to the game I love, because you need elbows to play baseball. When I was at my lowest—resting my elbow and watching soap operas with my grandmother—my grandmother would say to me, “Von, honey, you can do this! Don’t give up. Now fetch me my afghan and some scotch, will ya’?” She died. Like, that day, I think. And although she wasn’t alive to witness my valiant comeback from elbow surgery to hit 26 home runs last year and win the Donruss baseball card company’s MVP of life, I know she was with me, in my heart or something like that. This one’s for you, Yam-Yam! (Hayes searches for trophy to hold up into the air emotionally, but cannot locate one.) Where’s the trophy?
MC: It’s in the mail. Von Hayes, everyone! And let’s give a round of applause to Yam-Yam! Ha, ha … just goes to show you can call your grandmother anything these days. Whatever happened to “grandma?” Am I right? Seriously. Okay, our next award tonight is going to the best relief pitcher on the Padres for the month of June. We’re calling this one the “Cy Young Award.” Frank … FRANK! Get me the envelope …