Charlie, Ke'Bryan Hayes share special 1st pitch in NY

Pirates 3B catches throw from dad, who caught final out of '96 WS at Yankee Stadium

September 20th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Former Major Leaguer Charlie Hayes helped the Yankees in a big way in 1996. Besides delivering key hits in the postseason, Hayes caught the final out to help the Bronx Bombers win the ‘96 World Series over the Braves in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.

Almost 26 years later, before the Pirates played the Yankees on Tuesday night, there was Hayes on the Yankee Stadium mound, throwing the first pitch to his son, Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.

This is not the first time Ke’Bryan caught his father’s first pitch. It also happened on Aug. 28 at Citizens Bank Park before the Pirates' game against the Phillies, with whom Charlie started becoming an everyday third baseman in the Majors in 1989.

For Ke’Bryan, Tuesday marked the first time he'd entered Yankee Stadium. He never visited the old Yankee Stadium, because he wasn’t born by the time the Yankees went all the way in 1996. He also was busy playing baseball elsewhere whenever his father visited “The House That Ruth Built.”

“My mom was pregnant with me during the [‘96 World Series]. I was born a couple of months later,” Ke’Bryan said. “It’s kind of full circle for us. … This being my first time at Yankee Stadium, I can’t wait to be out there, see the field, the stands. It’s such a privilege to experience this.”

Whenever Ke’Bryan is hanging out with his father in New York, fans still recognize Charlie and what he did for the Yankees on that pivotal day in 1996.

“My father comes up here all the time. Even when he was just walking on the street, a lot of people recognized him 20-something years later,” Ke’Bryan Hayes said. “I definitely don’t take it for granted.”