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Richie Ashburn

Richie Ashburn

Position(s):
OF, CF, RF, LF, 2B
Nicknames:
Whitey, Put Put
Born:
March 19, 1927
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
170 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-20-1948 with PHI
Hall of Fame:
1995

Intro

Regarded by many as the finest defensive fielder this side of Tris Speaker, Richie Ashburn was a gritty competitor who threw out the Dodgers' Cal Abrams at home plate in the final game of the 1950 season to help the Phillies win the pennant. He twice won the batting title and was an All-Star in his final season, as a member of the 1962 Mets. After his playing career he was a popular announcer for the Phillies, becoming a legend to a new generation of fans

Unform Number

#1 (1948-1962)

Replaced By

Duke Snider came to the Mets in 1963, taking Ashburn's spot in the outfield. The Mets were obviously not building with youth.

Best Season

Ashburn led the National League with a .350 batting average, 215 hits, 13 triples, 97 walks, and a .441 OBP. He also stole 16 bases in 20 attempts.

Factoid 1

Richie Ashburn had more hits than any other player in baseball during the 1950s.

Factoid 2

Richie Ashburn was the first batter in the history of the New York Mets.

Transition

Before 1945 Season: Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent; January 11, 1960: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs for John Buzhardt, Alvin Dark, and Jim Woods; December 8, 1961: Purchased by the New York Mets from the Chicago Cubs.

Strengths

Defensive range.

Weaknesses

Power

Milestones

Ashburn collected his 2,000th career hit in 1958, and his 2,500th in 1962.

The 1950 Pennant Race

On October 1, 1950, the Phillies played their most historic game to date. Leading Brooklyn by one game on the final day of the season, Phillie ace Robin Roberts and Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe battled into extra innings in a 1-1 tie. Phillies' outfielder Dick Sisler blasted a three-run homer in the top of the 10th to deliver the pennant to Philadelphia. In the play that set the stage for Sisler’s heroics, Ashburn, playing shallow, threw out Dodger runner Cal Abrams at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, eliminating the potential pennant-winning run. Abrams said later, "I think they should have held me at third," while Dodgers' skipper Burt Shotton, commenting on having Duke Snider hitting away, "I should have bunted. If you don't believe me, look in the newspapers."

Sage Advice

Ashburn served 35 years in the broadcast booth for the Phillies. Onetime partner and former catcher Tim McCarver remembered the advice Ashburn gave him just before they went on the air for their first game together: "If you don't have anything to say, don't say it."

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Tagged:
Baseball History, Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Phillies, Richie Ashburn

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