Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1978 Topps Baseball #116 - Tucker Ashford

  • Tucker Ashford was the second player taken in the 1974 draft. Ashford played in the San Diego Padres' system from 1974-1976 and had a September call-up in 1976 (3 for 5 in 4 games).
  • Tucker started the 1977 season in AAA Hawaii and was brought up in July. Tucker batted .217 in 81 games for the Padres in 1977.
  • Ashford started the 1978 season in Hawaii. He had a good April (.311 in 14 games) and was brought up in May. He was used as a utility player and as a pinch hitter and batted .245 in 75 games.
  • Tucker spent the 1979 season in Hawaii and batted .255 with 13 home runs.
  • Before the 1980 season Ashford was traded (with Gaylord Perry and a minor leaguer) to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Willie Montanez. Tucker spent most of the year in AAA Charleston (.279, 8 HR). He was brought up for three weeks in June but he didn't fare well (.125 in 15 games)
  • Tucker was traded (with cash) to the New York Yankees for Rich Holt before the 1981 season. Ashford played in AAA Columbus for the 1981 (.300 with 17 HR) and 1982 (.331, 10 HR, 101 RBI) seasons. Tucker played in three games for the Yankees in 1981 but he didn't come to the plate.
  • After the 1982 season Ashford was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was returned to the Yankees just before the start of the season. Finally in mid April Tucker was traded to the New York Mets for two minor leaguers. Ashford spent some time in AAA Norfolk and then was with the Mets for most of the rest of the 1983 season. Tucker was used mostly as a late inning defensive player by  the Mets, and batted .179 in 35 games
  • At the end of spring training in 1984 Ashford was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Tom Edens. He started the season with the Royals, but he batted only .154 in 9 games. Tucker spent the rest of the 1984 season in AAA Rochester. Rochester was actually the AAA team of the Balitmore Orioles -- Ashford was probably there on loan.
  • Ashford became a free agent after the 1984 season. He played a little bit for Philadelphia's AAA Portland club, but Ashford hung 'em up after going 3 for 30 (.100) in 16 games.
  • After his playing career Tucker managed in the Mets' system from 1985-1988. Ashford decided to join his father's meat business after the 1988 season because the constant travel caused him to be away from his family too much
  • 1978 Stats:
    • Hawaii Islanders (AAA): .311, 0 HR, 6 RBI in 14 games
    • San Diego Padres: .245, 3 HR, 26 RBI in 75 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • May 24: Went 3 for 5 with a home run and three runs batted in as the Padres beat the LA Dodgers 9-3.
    • July 1: Was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI in San Diego's 9-3 victory over the Houston Astros.