Apr 12, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Alan Ashby attends the MLB game between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
1987: Alan Ashby
The 1987 was a pretty bad season for the Houston Astros. They could not reproduce the success from 1986 and finished with a 76-86 record, for third place in the National League West.
Alan Ashby, however, did his part swinging a bat. In 125 games wearing the mask, his stats (from Baseball Reference):
- .288 BA/.367 OBP/.438 SLG/ .805 OPS
- 111 hits
- 53 runs
- 16 doubles
- 14 HRs
- 63 RBI
- 50 walks
- 2.4 WAR
Here’s the remarkable thing about Ashby’s season: he set career bests in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, home runs, runs batted in, and WAR. And he did this at age 35.
Alan Ashby’s best year also coincided with the Astros drafting some kid out Seton Hall who would go on to replace him in just a couple of seasons. Ashby went on to a near 50-50 split in 1988 with Alex Trevino, and he retired in 1989, appearing in only 22 games in his final season.
Next: 1991: Craig Biggio