04 June 2012

oh, my beautiful ashley

so, i am guessing that everyone goes through a soap opera phase, right?  when i was in college, one of my roommates was big into dool (days of our lives) but also dabbled in some y&r (the young and the restless).  on the latter, there was a guy (whom i recognized from one of the planet of the apes movies) who apparently was a big shot on the show.  victor newman was his name, and his wife was named ashley.  he would always refer to her as 'my beautiful ashley' with some strange accent.

about the same time, we were hearing about a dodgers prospect down in the minors by the name of billy ashley.  of course, my roommate called him 'my beautiful ashley' and so, since 1991 or so, i have not been able to foget that moniker whenever someone mentions the former dodger.
a couple of weeks ago, i was happy to receive some beautiful cards from mr. ashley himself, courtesy of the dodgers' great practice of forwarding mail to their alumni.  he had signed the three cards i had sent in pretty quick fashion, too.

here's his 1993 topps card
and his 1993 upper deck card, on which eric karros is doing more than just lurking
and finally, his 1994 topps card
ashley's 1994 season in albuquerque was one of the all-time greats - right up there with mike marshall's 1981 campaign.  he hit 37/105/.345 but unfortunately did not find the same success in los angeles.  over the course of 7 seasons with the dodgers, ashley's line was 25/77/.231.  he spent one season in boston (1998) before returning to the minor leagues for a few years.

i had previously obtained an autographed ashley card (his 1996 score card) thanks to the time he spent in minnesota playing for the saint paul saints of the northern league in 1999.
ashley hit .340 for the saints that summer, with 14 homers in 48 games.  he played well enough to get picked up by the tigers' organization, but never did get back to the big leagues.  still, there were some good times - i remember ashley going deep in back-to-back games shortly after being called up for the first time in 1992, and thinking that there was hope for the dodgers in 1993.

thanks billy for signing my cards, and i'm sorry that i think of victor newman whenever your name comes up.

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