|Birth Day:||March 19, 1927|
|Death Date:||Sep 9, 1997 (age 70)|
|Birth Place:||Tilden, United States|
As per our current Database, Richie Ashburn died on Sep 9, 1997 (age 70).
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He was nicknamed Putt-Putt by Ted Williams.
One of the famous "Whiz Kids" of the National League champion 1950 Phillies, Ashburn spent 12 of his 15 major-league seasons as the Phillies' center fielder (1948–1959). He sported a .308 lifetime batting average, leading the National League twice, and routinely led the league in fielding percentage. In 1950, in the last game of the regular season, he threw Dodgers' runner Cal Abrams out at home plate to preserve a 1–1 tie and set the stage for Dick Sisler's pennant-clinching home run. He had been playing in to back up a pick-off throw on a pitchout, but pitcher Robin Roberts had instead thrown a fastball to the batter, Duke Snider.
The following year Ashburn displayed his fielding skill on the national stage in the All-Star Game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. The Associated Press reported, "Richie Ashburn, fleet footed Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, brought the huge Briggs Stadium crowd of 52,075 to its feet with a brilliant leaping catch in the sixth inning to rob Vic Wertz of a near homer. Ashburn caught the ball in front of the right centerfield screen 400 feet distant after a long run." He was also the last Phillies player to collect eight hits in a double-header when he singled eight times in a twinbill at Pittsburgh on May 20, 1951.
During a game on August 17, 1957, Ashburn hit a foul ball into the stands that struck spectator Alice Roth, wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth, breaking her nose. When play resumed Ashburn fouled off another ball that struck her while she was being carried off in a stretcher. Ashburn and Mrs. Roth maintained a friendship for many years, and the Roths' son later served as a Phillies batboy.
Ashburn was traded to the Chicago Cubs following the 1959 season for three players. He went on to anchor center field for the North Siders in 1960 and 1961. Anticipating a future career behind a microphone, Ashburn sometimes conducted a post-game baseball instruction clinic at Wrigley Field for the benefit of the youngsters in the WGN-TV viewing audience.
Starting in 1963, Ashburn became a radio and TV color commentator for the Phillies, his original big-league team. He first worked with long-time Phillies announcers Bill Campbell and Byrum Saam. In 1971 Campbell was released by the Phillies and replaced by Harry Kalas. From 1971 to 1976, Ashburn worked together with Saam and Kalas who would both be Ford C. Frick Award winners. Saam retired in 1976, and Ashburn continued working with Kalas for the next two decades, the two growing to be best friends. Kalas often referred to Ashburn as "His Whiteness", a nickname Kalas used for most of Ashburn's life for the man he openly adored.
Ashburn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Hall's Veterans Committee in 1995 after a long fan campaign to induct him, which included bumper stickers that read, "Richie Ashburn: Why The Hall Not?" He accompanied Phillies great Mike Schmidt, who was inducted in the same ceremony. Over 25,000 fans, mostly from Philadelphia, traveled to Cooperstown for the ceremony.
According to Ashburn's mother, he planned to retire from broadcasting at the end of the 1997 season. On September 9, 1997 in New York City, after broadcasting the Phillies-Mets game at Shea Stadium, Ashburn suffered a heart attack and died. A large crowd of fans paid tribute to him, passing by his casket in Memorial Hall, located in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. He is interred in the suburban Gladwyne Methodist Church Cemetery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Ashburn was inducted into The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 1997.
Ashburn was posthumously inducted into the inaugural class of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Ashburn was allowed to make on-air birthday and anniversary wishes during Phillies games. To circumvent the Phillies' request, he started to say "I'd like to send out a special birthday wish to the Celebre's twins – Plain & Pepperoni!" Harry Kalas was heard on radio in 2007 making a similar wish.
At Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies' radio-broadcast booth is named "The Richie 'Whitey' Ashburn Broadcast Booth". It is directly next to the TV-broadcast booth, which was renamed "The Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth" after Kalas's death in 2009.
Currently, Richie Ashburn is 95 years, 3 months and 15 days old. Richie Ashburn will celebrate 96th birthday on a Sunday 19th of March 2023.
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