Monday, May 21, 2012

Minor League Pop

I love collecting autographs of failed Dodger prospects.  Players like Angel Pena and Chin-Lung Hu fit into this category.  I have built up a decent sized collection so far.  But, I knew that something was missing.  I knew that my collection of Dodger busts wasn't anywhere near complete.  Even my Darren Dreifort signed card doesn't make my collection complete.

The Dodgers held a fan fest over the weekend.  This was a good opportunity to snag some autos of past Dodger players.  When I looked at the list of former players that were signing and saw a name from my childhood.

That name was Billy Ashley.

As a child in the 90s, Ashley was one of the first Dodger prospects that I remember hearing about.  Fans and the media thought that he would become a monster power hitter in the big leagues.  He also looked like a ballplayer.  He was massive with ripped arms.  Ashley looked destined to be a middle of the order masher.

Ashley hit really well throughout the Dodgers minor league system.  He hit 37 home runs in Albuquerque at the age of 23.  Albuquerque was the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate at the time.  It is a hitters park but, 37 homers for a 23 year old in Triple-A is impressive and so is a .428 on-base percentage.

Sadly, that was the best year of Ashley's professional career.  He would never come close to putting up numbers like that during his stint in the majors.  Ashley ended up hitting only 28 homers in a 7 year big league career with the Dodgers and Red Sox.

This Billy Ashley is a great addition to my Dodger autograph collection.  This was also my second favorite pick-up at the Dodgers Fan Fest.  I will continue to post about the cards I got signed from this event.

Thanks to the Dodgers for having Billy Ashley at the Fan Fest.  Many Dodger fans wouldn't care for his auto but, it means a lot to me.

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