His most impressive defensive number is his range factor/games played for CFs. It is a total of putouts + assists divided by games played. Only one other player, Taylor Douthit (who played for the Cardinals in the 1920s), had a range factor above Ashburns. Ashburn's 3.014 RF, 39 zone runs saved (which ranks 35th all time among CF) and the fact that six times he had 13 or more assists in the OF, leading the league three times, were all stats that some of the best could not keep up with. He also led the league nine times in putouts, another indication that he got to balls that most CF never got to. Add that to the fact that he was a good hitter, and he is a Hall of Famer, without a doubt.
It also didn't hurt when he became a Phillies broadcaster in 1963, one year after he retired following his one season with the New York Mets. He was a broadcaster for 34 years, until his sudden death in 1997. Many of those years (27) he spent along side of Harry Kalas, who became his broadcast partner in 1970.
Ashburn needed to have that defensive element to make the Hall of Fame. As it showed, he fell short as an offensive player. It is fair to say that Juan Pierre could retire with offensive numbers similar to Ashburn. We all know Juan Pierre will never make the Hall of Fame. Ashburn was the complete package; hitter, fielder, leader and eventually broadcaster. It was nice to see him get inducted in 1995, just two years before his death. He was a defensive wizard before the days of "Web Gems" and even highlights, for that matter. He is also one of the ten players who are in the Hall of Fame who once played a game for the New York Mets. In case you were wondering, the others are Roberto Alomar, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Duke Snider and Warren Spahn.