It's funny how memory warps reality around the most inconsequential of things. In baseball that can turn bit players into mountainous heroes, and for me, no one fits that bill more than Charlie Hayes. One of my first real baseball memories is Hayes catching the last out of the 1996 World Series and for some reason that image has stuck with me, turning an otherwise forgettable participant into an icon. It's only been in my adulthood that I've been able to realize the truth and laugh about how silly my mind has portrayed him.
What did he do after?
Hayes remained with the the Yankees in 1997, continuing his platoon with Wade Boggs. That year he hit .258/.332/.397 with 11 home runs in just shy of 400 plate appearances and did an incredible job against left-handers with a .900 OPS against. In the playoffs, Hayes went 5–15 against the Cleveland Indians before the team was ultimately eliminated in the first round. Once Boggs left to play for the Devil Rays, the Yankees opted to acquire a full-time third baseman instead of relying on Hayes. They sent Hayes back to San Francisco in exchange for prospects Alberto Castillo and Chris Singleton, neither of whom ever reached the majors with the Yankees. Just a few days after the deal, New York sent Kenny Rogers to the Oakland Athletics for Scott Brosius, who would be the team's starting third baseman for the next four years.
Hayes would finish out the remainder of his four-year deal with the Giants before signing on with the Mets for the 2000 season. They ended up releasing him in spring training and he spent the year with the Milwaukee Brewers instead. He finally finished out his career in 2001, his age-36 season, when he OPSed just .533 in 31 games with the Houston Astros before being released in June.