Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Richie Ashburn
Richie Ashburn was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans' Committee in 1995.
Five highlights of Richie Ashburn's career:
The first two tables below present Richie Ashburn's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.
- Richie Ashburn was named to an All-Star team in five seasons. He received MVP votes eight times with two top-10 finishes.
- Ashburn led the National League in batting average twice and in on-base percentage four times.
- Ashburn led the National League in hits three times, in walks four times, and in times on base five times.
- Ashburn led the National League in putouts by an outfielder nine times, in assists by an outfielder three times, and in double plays turned by an outfielder three times. His 6,089 outfield putouts are the sixth-most in major-league history. His career range factor (PO+A per 9 IP), 2.98, is the second-highest in major-league history for an outfielder.
- Ashburn hit 29 home runs in his career. He hit over half of these, 15, in the Polo Grounds. The Polo Grounds were Ashburn's home ballpark for only one season of his career (he was the first center fielder in New York Mets history). For his career, Ashburn hit a home run every 44.9 plate appearances at the Polo Grounds vs. one home run every 647.3 plate appearances outside the Polo Grounds.
Player won-lost records are calculated across nine components.
Offensively, Richie Ashburn excelled at four of these.
- Component 1: Basestealing (stolen bases, caught stealing, pickoffs, balks)
- Component 2: Wild pitches and passed balls
- Component 3: Balls not in play: strikeouts, walks, hit-batsmen
- Component 4: Balls in play, including home runs
- Component 5: Hits vs. Outs on balls in play
- Component 6: Singles vs. Doubles vs. Triples on hits in play
- Component 7: Double Plays
- Component 8: Baserunner Outs
- Component 9: Baserunner Advancement
Component 3 Batting
Richie Ashburn is 60th in major-league history in walks, led his league in walks four times in his career, and finished his career with more than twice as many walks (1,198) as strikeouts (571). This corresponds to Component 3 of Player won-lost records. A strikeout-to-walk ratio of less than 0.5 (0.48 to be precise) is outstanding for a batter. In fact, it is historically great.
The next table shows the top 25 players in Component 3 batting wins above non-pitcher average.
Component 5 Batting
Richie Ashburn ended his career with a career batting average of .308 and a career BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .327. Ashburn had limited power (29 career home runs) but was excellent at slapping hits to the outfield and beating out bunts and infield hits. Ashburn is 33rd in major-league history in career singles (2,119). In Player won-lost records, this translates to Component 5 - the ability to convert balls-in-play into hits.
The next table shows the top 30 players in Component 3 batting wins above non-pitcher average.
Component 8 & 9 Baserunning
Richie Ashburn was an excellent baserunner. He finished in the top 10 in the National League in stolen bases 12 times in his career, leading the league once. But, for most of Ashburn's career, stolen bases totals were fairly low: e.g., he led the National League in stolen bases in 1948 with 32.
There is, however, more to baserunning than just basestealing and Richie Ashburn was very good at the other aspects of baserunning which helped contribute to his scoring 90 or more runs 9 times in his career. Outside of Component 1, the key baserunning components of Player won-lost records are Components 8 - baserunner outs - and Component 9 - baserunner advancements.
The final table of this article, then, shows the top 25 players in net Component 8 and 9 baserunning wins for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.
Article last updated: May 19, 2020
All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.
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