Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

August 2, 2007

Answering the call

PRINCETON — Anyone who did not know any better would think that Tyree Hayes was into the very latest in technology. Late last week, he was outside the Princeton Devil Rays’ clubhouse gabbing away on his iPhone.

“It’s a great device,” Hayes said. “It shows that technology’s going crazy these days.”

Surprisingly, Hayes says he is not a person that keeps up with the latest in technology. He just got caught up in the hysteria over Apple’s new gadget.

“I saw this phone and they were making a big deal about it,” Hayes said. “So I thought I’d buy it and try it out. I’ve absolutely enjoyed this phone.”

The pitcher for the Princeton Devil Rays uses that phone to maintain contact with those that are close to him in his life. Hayes, who is spending his second year in Princeton, was drafted straight out of Tumball High School by Tampa Bay.

Hayes lived in Houston at the time, so going from a bustling city to a small town was a major adjustment for him.

“It’s more businesslike,” Hayes said. “There’s a lot more people. It’s a little bit slower here. It’s kind of hard to adjust, but not bad.

“I’ve been able to make the adjustment. You’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”

Most minor leaguers, especially those on the rookie league level, can only dream of making it to the majors. Hayes has already lived it. His father, Charlie Hayes, played 14 seasons for seven different teams.

“I’ve been playing baseball my whole life,” Hayes said. “My dad, he played professional. So I guess that kind of egged it on. Ever since I was three, I’ve been playing baseball every day almost.”

Hayes has lived a baseball life. His father was the biggest influence in his upbringing. Hayes carries those memories with him wherever he goes.

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