Wednesday, January 13, 2010
#299) TUCKER ASHFORD
Thomas Steven "Tucker" Ashford was traded by the New York Yankees to the New York Mets in exchange for Felix Perdomo and Steve Ray on April 18, 1983. Tucker had spent all of the 1982 season with Triple-A Columbus and found it as no surprise that his first experience with the Mets began with the Norfolk Tides. That would not last too long as the team was struggling in New York. So on May 5th, Ashford flew from Norfolk to LaGuardia with Tides' teammate, Darryl Strawberry. He would make his Mets' debut at Shea Stadium starting alongside the famous slugger on May 6, 1983. The club tried to pass off Ashford and Strawberry as comparable that first night, telling the reporters that each was a young talent with a bright Mets future. However, Tucker would only appear in 35 games that lone season. One of which the second/third baseman appeared defensively as the "emergency" catcher in the top of the ninth inning during a game facing Cincinnati on July 13, 1983. Relief pitcher, Doug Sisk would set the Reds down in order with Ashford behind the plate. Tucker's playing career with the Mets ended when he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Tom Edens on April 1, 1984.
He later returned to the Mets organization as a successful minor league manager. Tucker remained with them for four seasons until offering his resignation in October 1988. Ashford chose to join his father's meat business in Covington, Kentucky. "The main factor is travel and being away from my family," he said, "Last year I was away from home from March to the first of June. It was too much of a separation."
Tucker Ashford signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 28, 2009.