John William Hayes
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 175 lb.
- Debut 1934
- Final Game 1948
- Born April 27, 1910 in Indianapolis, IN USA
- Died November 16, 1988 in Auburn Park, IL USA
Johnny Hayes was a two-time Negro League All-Star in 18 seasons.
Hayes debuted in 1934, hitting .361 as the primary catcher for the Newark Dodgers. He improved to .382 in 1935 - both times, he just missed the league's top five in average. He backed up Leon Ruffin on the 1936 Newark Eagles, then hit just .131 as a starter in 1937 before batting .288 in 1938. In the 1938-1939 Cuban Winter League, he was 4 for 32 as a backup to Bill Perkins.
Johnny backed up Biz Mackey with the Eagles in 1939 then moved to the New York Black Yankees, hitting .256 in 1940. With Aquadilla in the Puerto Rican League that winter, he hit .273. The backstop hit .435 for New York in 1941 and would have beaten Bill Hoskins for the batting title if he had qualified. He fell to .267 in 1942 then rode the bench for three years.
Hayes started again for New York in 1946, hitting .261, followed by .257 in 1947. With the East's premier catchers of recent years gone due to age (Biz Mackey), death (Josh Gibson) or integration (Roy Campanella), Hayes made his first East-West Game at age 37. In the first 1947 East-West Game, he started at catcher and hit 8th for the East. He went 0 for 1 before Bob Romby pinch-hit for him in a 5-2 loss. In game two, Johnny was 0-1 as the backup to Louis Louden in a 8-2 loss.
Hayes remained New York's starter in 1948 then spent three years with the Baltimore Elite Giants. He was 1 for 3 in the 1951 East-West Game, starting at catcher for the East and batting 8th. Ben Littles pinch-hit for him in the 9th and the East won, 3-1. Johnny ended his career with the 1952 Hartford Chiefs, hitting .357 in 7 games.
- NNL All-Star (1947)
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley
- The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway
- Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo
- Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester