From behind the plate to behind the camera, Alan Ashby has maintained success. A catcher by trade, Ashby spent 11 of his 17 seasons with the Houston Astros from 1979 to 1989. He caught 901 games over his tenure in Houston, which was highlighted by three postseason appearances in 1980, 1981 and 1986, and by a trio of no-hitters he was behind the plate for.
Ashby turned in the finest offensive season of his career in 1987 when he set career highs with 125 games played, a .288 batting average, 14 home runs and 63 runs batted in. Ashby was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the 1969 Major League Baseball draft out of San Pedro High School in Los Angeles, California. He made his major league debut with the Indians in 1973 and spent two seasons in Cleveland before he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, with whom he also spent two seasons.
Ashby finished his career with 1,010 hits, 90 home runs and 107 shutouts caught, 23rd -most all-time among catchers. In 1999 Ashby was named the starting catcher on the All-Time Astrodome Team. One year later he was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. Following his playing career Ashby turned to broadcasting and coaching.
He spent time in various on-air roles with Houston-based television networks from 1990 to 1992 before he got back into baseball as a manager in the minor leagues and as the Astros bullpen coach in 1997 before he became a color commentator on Astros radio broadcasts starting in 1998. Ashby excelled as an analyst on the Astros broadcasts and remained in that capacity until 2006, after which he joined the Blue Jays broadcast team.
Ashby provided analysis on radio broadcasts and on occasion he also handled play-by-play and commentary on the team’s Sportsnet telecasts until 2013 when he resigned from his position and returned to Houston as the lead analyst on Root Sports’ Astros broadcasts. At the conclusion of the 2016 season Ashby stepped away from the microphone to pursue new ventures.
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