By Laura Verillo
Four men influential to the success of baseball in the Duke City will be inducted into the Albuquerque Professional Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday as outfielder Billy Ashley and pitchers Charlie Hough, Steve Lagomarsino, and Geoff Zahn will make up the 2013 class.
The four were elected by the Albuquerque Professional Baseball Hall of Fame committee, consisting of baseball history experts throughout the city of Albuquerque.
The only outfielder among this year’s inductees, Ashley played in 264 career games for the Dukes (1992-94, 1996) and posted a .309 batting average with 224 RBI over those seasons. Leading the Pacific Coast League in back-to-back years (1993, 1994) with 26 and 37 home runs, respectively, the power-hitting outfielder blasted 61 career homers as a Duke.
He also received Topps Triple-A All-Star and PCL All-Star honors in 1993 and 1994, even being named Baseball America’s Triple-A Player of the Year, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Minor League Player of the Year and the PCL Most Valuable Player in 1994.
Hough led the 1971 Albuquerque Dodgers with seven complete games and was second on the club with 113 strikeouts.
The knuckleballer appeared in a team-high 58 games for the 1972 Dukes, was second on the squad with 14 saves and tied the team lead with 14 wins.
Lagomarsino appeared in 78 games (27 starts, 328 innings) for the Dukes in 1950-51, posting an 18-16 record. In addition to his time as a Duke in the West Texas-New Mexico League, Lagomarsino is best known for serving 26 years with the New Mexico State Police Department, having risen to the rank of deputy chief. He still resides in Albuquerque.
A member of the Double-A Dodgers (1969, 1971) and Triple-A Dukes (1972-73), Zahn compiled a 40-24 record with a 3.14 ERA in 87 career games for Albuquerque in the Texas League, Dixie Association and Pacific Coast League. He went 10-1 in 1972 record and led the team in winning percentage (.909) that season. In 1973, he went 13-8 with a 3.05 ERA with 12 complete games and 103 strikeouts. He recorded 29 complete games in 78 career starts.
The ceremony will be part of Dukes Retro Night; the ‘Topes play Omaha at 7:05 p.m.