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Alan Ashby

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Alan Dean Ashby (Buns)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Alan Ashby played seventeen years in the majors, mostly with the Houston Astros, and caught three no-hitters during the course of his career.

Ashby was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the 1969 amateur draft and reached the majors with the team in 1973. Following the 1976 season, on November 5th, he became the first player acquired via trade by the expansion Toronto Blue Jays when he was dealt for Al Fitzmorris. He was a regular behind the plate in the Jays' inaugural campaign but hit just .210 with 2 home runs.

Following the 1978 season, Ashby was traded to the Astros for three players. He was the club's regular behind the plate for most of the next decade, and during that time he caught three no-hitters: one by Ken Forsch, one by Nolan Ryan, and a third by Mike Scott (which was also the 1986 NL West division-clinching win). He had his best year at the plate in 1987, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.288), home runs (14), and runs batted in (63). However, by 1989, Craig Biggio had taken over as the Houston backstop, and Ashby was let go by the team after hitting only .164 in 22 games that year.

Following his big league days, Ashby played for the Fort Myers Sun Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989 and hit .241 in 19 games with the club.

After his playing days, Ashby was sports anchor at a Houston television station from 1990 to 1992. He returned to the diamond as manager of the Rio Grande Valley White Wings in the Texas-Louisiana League in 1994 and 1995 and managed the Kissimmee Cobras in 1996. He was the Astros bullpen coach in 1997, and from 1998 to 2005, he was a radio broadcaster for the team. Since 2007, he has been a radio play-by-play announcer and analyst for the Blue Jays.

Ashby earned the nickname "Buns" from the ladies employed in the secretarial pool in the Blue Jays front office in the 1970's, as they admired his rear. Bob McCown also worked with the Jays at that time and kept the name alive. The nickname also followed Ashby to Houston after he left the Jays.

[edit] Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1994 Rio Grande Valley White Wings Texas-Louisiana League 40-48 Independent Leagues
1995 Rio Grande Valley White Wings Texas-Louisiana League 53-46 Independent Leagues
1996 Kissimmee Cobras Florida State League 60-75 12th Houston Astros

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