Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

Bringing Baseball History To Center Field

Don Richard Ashburn
Born: March 19, 1927 in Tilden, Neb.
Died: Sept. 9, 1997 in New York, N.Y.
Debut: 1948 | Pos: OF
Ht: 5’10” | Wt: 170 | B: L | T: R

15 2189 8356 1322 2574 29 586 234 .308

>> Visit the Richie Ashburn biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.

The leader of the 1950 Whiz Kids, Richie Ashburn was considered one of baseball’s greatest leadoff hitters. From 1948 to 1959, he was at the top of the order for the Phillies. 

He finished his career with a .308 average, fueled by nine seasons in which he hit .300 or better. In 15 years, he collected 2,574 hits and was the league batting champ in 1955 (.338) and 1958 (.350). He led the league in hits three times with a career high of 221 in 1951. 

His career included stops with the Phillies (1948-59), Cubs (1960-61) and Mets (1962). As a defensive player, he established baseball records for leading the league nine times in chances, four seasons of 500 or more putouts and nine seasons of 400 or more putouts.

His defensive skills rose to the top in the final game of the 1950 season. Ashburn grabbed a single from the Dodgers’ Duke Snider and threw out Cal Abrams at home. Had the run scored, the Phillies would have faced a playoff for the pennant. Instead, Dick Sisler hit a home-run in the 10th to break the tie and give the Phillies the win. 

Ashburn batted .333 in his first season and hit .306 in his final season.   In 1995, he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Committee on Baseball Veterans. 
Following his career in baseball, Ashburn found a new way to be part of the game. For 35 years, he was on the broadcast team for Phillies’ games with legendary announcer Harry Kalas.