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Two-time Super Bowl champ Lester Hayes signs autographs in Ceres
Former Raiders cornerback raises money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Former Raiders' star cornerback Lester Hayes flashes his two Super Bowl championship rings while taking a break from signing autographs at the Walmart Supercenter in Ceres today. - photo by Dale Butler/Courier photo

Lester Hayes has signed thousands of autographs over the years.

The two-time Super Bowl champion/Raiders' legendary cornerback has met fans all around the world.

He paid a visit to Ceres recently.

All proceeds raised during Hayes' 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. meet-and-greet sessions at the Walmart Supercenter on Monday and Feb. 9-11 will be donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

Hayes has been affiliated with CMN for 20 years.

"I was always taught to show children love," said Hayes, 68. "That is not a spoken situation. It's an action situation by giving back."

Harp Takhar, Josh Jacopetti and Christopher Sneed were all smiles after meeting Hayes on Friday.

Forty-plus-year-old Takhar made the four-and-a-half drive from Santa Clarita to get two posters and one football signed.

"It was worth it," Takhar said. "Lester is a legend. I had to come see him."

"I've been a Raiders' fan since I watched Marcus Allen score a TD on television when I was 5 or 6," he added.

Jacopetti, 37, of Newman, couldn't wait to add a new piece to his collection.

He has several rooms full of sports memorabilia at his house.

Hayes penned his autograph and seven inscriptions on Jacopetti's Raiders' helmet.

Jacopetti also took home a signed football.

"I've been collecting since I was a kid," Jacopetti said. "I don't have a signed Lester Hayes helmet. I had to get one."

Sneed, 38, of Manteca, was finally able to attend one of Hayes' autograph sessions.

Hayes signed Sneed's 11x14 poster.

"I grew up a Raider fan," Sneed said. "I'm still a Raider fan. I'm a season-ticket holder. This is my first signing with Lester Hayes. Most of his signings I can't make because I got work. How are you going to miss this? It's Lester Hayes."

Sneed owns hundreds of Raider memorabilia pieces, including several dozen autographed jerseys.

"My uncle is the whole reason I'm a Raider fan," he said. "He showed me old video tapes of him (Hayes) playing."

All proceeds raised during Lester Hayes' meet-and-greet signing sessions at the Ceres Walmart Supercenter will be donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Hayes played his entire 10-year career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. He won Super Bowl titles in 1980 and 1983. - Photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier photo
In between signing autographs and posing for pictures on Feb. 10, Hayes declared which NFL team he would be rooting for during Super Bowl 57.

He was hoping Philadelphia beats Kansas City, a long-time rival of the Silver and Black.

"I want the Chiefs to lose on Sunday," Hayes said. "I'm loyal. I'm sick of seeing KC win. Go Eagles!"

The Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit en route to posting a 38-35 victory over the Eagles on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.

When asked how current Kansas City star quarterback/two-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes would have done if he played during his era, Hayes said: "It's not all about Patrick. You got to have a smart coach, five blocking beasts up front and a great team."

Hayes spent his entire 10-year career in the NFL with Oakland/Los Angeles.

He helped lead the Raiders to Super Bowl victories in 1980 and 1983.

Hayes totaled seven interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and two sacks as the Silver and Black won all seven of their playoff games those two years.

He didn't let the magnitude of competing on the biggest stage impact his performance.

"It's a football game," said Hayes, who was wearing both of his Super Bowl championship rings during the signing event in Ceres. "You can't bite the hook of all the buildup. You have to focus on your technique and game plan."

Selected in the fifth round of the 1977 NFL Draft, Hayes developed into one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the history of the league.

He totaled a franchise-record 39 interceptions, to go along with seven fumble recoveries in 149 regular-season games.

Hayes was a five-time Pro Bowl selection from 1980 to 1984.

He was named first-team All-Pro once (1980) and second-team All-Pro five times (1979, 1981-1984).

Hayes elevated his level of play during the Raiders' 1980 Super-Bowl Championship season. 

He was selected NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year.

He had a modern-day record/league-leading 13 interceptions.

Hayes was named to the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team.

He retired following the 1986 season.

"I was on a successful team," Hayes said. "We always won. That's what's important. My boss, Al Davis, always stressed team first. I was taught team all my life. I don't care about stats. I just want to win."

Christopher Sneed made the drive from Manteca to Ceres on Friday to meet Lester Hayes. Sneed, 38, added Hayes' autograph to his Raiders' sports memorabilia collection. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier photo