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Whose number will the Houston Astros retire next?

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Brad Ausmus

Another name that may surprise some people, but certainly deserves to be in the conversation is Brad Ausmus. He is Houston’s all-time leader at catcher in games (1,259), starts (1,119), hits (970), and runs (415). He never put up monster numbers at the plate, but was one of the best leaders in the dugout and a brillant defensive player. Ausmus played over 10 years in the majors without ever going on the disabled list and he is one of only eight catchers in major league history to get 1,500 hits and steal at least 100 bases. He left the Astros in 2008 to go be closer to home with the Los Angles Dodgers, but retired in 2010. In his 10 seasons in Houston, he finished batting .246/.318/327 with 41 home runs, 386 RBIs, 970 hits, 396 walks, and 629 strikeouts.

Ausmus finished his career ranked third in major league history with 12,839 putouts as a catcher, trailing only Iván Rodríguez and Jason Kendall, seventh in games caught with 1,938, and 10th in both range factor/game (7.12) and fielding percentage (.994). For his career, he threw out 30.2% of potential basestealers.  Ausmus also played a handful of games at first base, second base, third base, and shortstop without making an error. He had played in the postseason five times, all with the Astros, including the 2005 World Series. In that infamous Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS against the Braves, Ausmus homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game at 6–6 and send it to extra innings. (He also caught 17 innings, as well as playing one inning at first base). Currently, Ausmus is the Tigers’ manager and will probably not get his jersey retired by Houston anytime soon.

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