Series 12: Southern Maryland @ York

Editor’s Note: This column originally ran in Monday’s York Dispatch.

Atlantic League players are usually very resourceful fellows.

They have to be. Independent baseball money doesn’t come close to paying the bills — especially if you have a family to worry about. So players improvise.

Some work performing manual labor. Others lead baseball instruction clinics. Most of the time, it’s whatever offseason job pays the most so they can afford to keep playing baseball seven months out of the year.

But Chris Ashby is a little different. One of his jobs entails something that many baseball players don’t come close to qualifying for.

He’s a part-time model and actor.

Ashby, 33, a 15-year veteran of the minor leagues and the latest addition to the York Revolution, is 6-foot-3 with movie star, jet-black hair and a smile that’s easy on the eyes. So naturally, he went to a talent agency to explore modeling/acting opportunities this winter after no major league organization came calling.

And this isn’t a pipe dream venture for Ashby, either. He appeared in the 1999 movie, “For the Love of the Game,” as the New York Yankees’ catcher, Nardini. And while it was a small part — one in which his only dialogue was cut in final production — it opened his eyes to a job he might take up after his playing days.

“If something comes up, it’s something I’d have to look at,” Ashby said of acting opportunities. “There are a lot of baseball commercials and things like that out there that pay great. It’s definitely something that I’m looking into.”

So how the heck did Ashby end up sharing the big screen with Kevin Costner years ago? Well, at the time he was with the New York Yankees organization and in exchange for the usage of Yankee Stadium, owner George Steinbrenner insisted that actual Yankee ballplayers appear in the film.

The production company agreed and Ashby then had to send in a mug shot to the casting agency. The rest is history.

“They ended up cutting out all the baseball players’ lines,” Ashby said with a smile. “I don’t know if it had something to do with the screen actors’ guild or what.”

Now, it’s safe to say Ashby’s acting career is on hold. He stretched a single into a double in a game against Southern Maryland last week and the play sparked a Revs’ rally. And he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-5 loss to Somerset Saturday.

But don’t be surprised to see Ashby pop up in another movie or commercial down the road. It happened once before. Why not again?

Southern Maryland Notes: The Blue Crabs just signed outfielder Jeremy Owens, beating out Somerset for his services. The former Patriot was instrumental in Somerset’s championship run in 2005 when he hit .290 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs. He also had 29 stolen bases that season and plays an incredible center field. And get this: through three games with the Blue Crabs he’s hitting .818 with nine hits and five RBIs… Patrick Osborn is hitting .340 with six homers and 30 RBIs… John Halama is 4-0 with a league-leading 1.81 ERA… John Ramistella is hitting .375 in his last 10 games… Southern Maryland enters the series two games back of Camden in the Liberty Division.

York Notes: The Revs still rank last in the league with a .237 team batting average, but they’re closing in on Lancaster. The Barnstormers are only hitting .247 as a team… Wayne Franklin leads the Atlantic League with 26 walks… Sandy Aracena is hitting .421 over York’s last 10 games… Enrique Cruz has a .364 average over the same stretch… Jason Aspito launched two mammoth homers in Sunday’s win over Somerset. It was the third time he belted two long balls in a Revs’ uniform. He did it July 5 and August 24 of last season… Matt Dryer suffered a mild shoulder injury diving on a play in Saturday’s loss to Somerset. He is expected to return to the lineup soon… Matt Padgett is day-to-day with after tweaking his hamstring Sunday.

Pitching Probables: (York’s starters first)

Game 1: Dave Gassner (1-3, 3.46 ERA) vs. John Halama (4-0, 1.81 ERA)

Game 2: Aaron Myette (2-3, 6.90 ERA) vs. TBA

Game 3: Wayne Franklin (3-1, 4.97 ERA) vs. TBA

*Liz Rohde photo.

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