Monday, June 16, 2008

Nice Card File - Richie Ashburn

This is a Topps Tribute Game Bat Relics card from 2001. It features a piece of a bat once used by Richie Ashburn.

Ashburn played for the Phillies from 1948 to 1959. He was one of the best players in the 1950s. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1995, and thus entered the Hall with Mike Schmidt. More than 25,000 people, mostly from Philadelphia showed up in Cooperstown for the induction ceremony.

It was fitting that Ashburn and Schmidt should go into the Hall together. Richie represented the greatest Phillies team of my father's generation, the team nicknamed the Whiz Kids. They were the first Phillies team to go to the World Series, in 1950, the year before I was born. And Mike represents the best Phillies team of my generation, the only Phillies team to win a World Series, in 1980.

I grew up listening to Richie Ashburn doing the color commentary for the Phillies. He worked Phillies cames from 1963 up to the day he died in 1997 (he was on the road with the team when he died). One other connection - Ashburn was born on the same day as my father, March 19, 1927. I was living in Houston when Ashburn died. That season in 1997, I had found out how to get a baseball card into the visitor's broadcast booth and was planning to get Ashburn's autograph the next season when the Phillies came to town.

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