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Richie Ashburn combined the Pete Rose virtues and the Pete Rose style of play with the virtues of...

Richie Ashburn combined the Pete Rose virtues and the Pete Rose style of play with the virtues of dignity, intelligence, and style. Like Rose, he was a three-hundred-hitting singles hitter who ran out every ground ball of his career, a player who got out of his body every pound of ability that the Lord had put in there. Unlike Rose, Ashburn did not extend his career beyond its natural boundaries to break any records. At the time he retired, he had only 188 hits fewer than Rose had at the same age, and had more than many of the 3,000-hit men had at the same age. He didn't need records to tell him who he was. Ashburn was a reader, a family man, a man of restraint and taste. My favorite Richie Ashburn story... One time Ashburn hit a line drive into the stands, striking a young woman in the side of the face and knocking her unconscious. The stadium gasped, Ashburn stepped out of the box and watched in alarm as medics rushed to her side. In a few minutes the woman revived, the stretcher came, and the ballgame resumed. And Ashburn hit another line drive foul, and struck the poor woman again as she was bring garried out of the stadium. Ashburn visited the woman in the hospital after the game, invited her to come down and meet the players, befriended her and her family, and corresponded with the woman for the rest of his life."

--Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, 735. James ranks Richie Ashburn as the 16th greatest center fielder of all time. [Why I'm doing this "series.".]
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