A durable catcher, Alan Ashby played in the major league for 17 years, the last ten with the Houston Astros. During his tenure he tied a record by catching three no-hitters, all while playing with the Astros – Ken Forsch, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott.
An excellent defensive stalwart, Alan Ashby played his first four major league seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He took over the regular backstop duties in his third season, 1975, and handled a bevy of Tribe pitchers, including Gaylord Perry, Fritz Peterson, Dennis Eckersley and Jim Bibby.
Traded to Toronto in 1977 Alan Ashby caught a career-high124 games in his first year with the Blue Jays, batting .210 with 21 extra base hits. And, the next season the switch-hitting Ashby hit .261. Traded to Houston on November 27 1978 Alan Ashby caught over 100 games 5 times in his last ten seasons. .
How Durable Was He?
As a fact:
During the 1980s Alan Ashby broke numerous bones in his hands and feet, and went on the disabled list 5 times. One of the causes of broken bones was catching pitcher Joe Niekro knuckleballs. In mid season 1988 Ashby broke in a young Astros catcher – named Craig Biggio.