J. R. Richard
James Rodney Richard is an American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Richard played for the Houston Astros from 1971 to 1980. He is the father of former Houston Astros outfielder Jeff Burroughs. Richard is a member of the Louisiana Baseball Hall of Fame, established in 1998.
About J. R. Richard in brief
James Rodney Richard is an American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Richard played for the Houston Astros from 1971 to 1980. He was one of the premier pitchers in the majors, leading the National League twice in strikeouts, once in earned run average, and three times in hits allowed per nine innings. On July 30, 1980, Richard suffered a stroke and collapsed while playing a game of catch before an Astros game, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot in his neck. In 1981, Richard attempted a comeback with the Astros, but this failed because the stroke had slowed down his reaction time and weakened his depth perception. After his professional baseball career ended, Richard became involved in unsuccessful business deals and went through two divorces, which led to him being homeless and destitute in 1994. Richard found succor in a local church and later became a Christian minister. Richard wore number 50 and kept that number for the rest of his minor-league career and for the remainder of his major league career. He is the father of former Houston Astros outfielder Jeff Burroughs. Richard is a member of the Louisiana Baseball Hall of Fame, which was established in 1998. Richard was the second overall pick in the 1969 amateur baseball draft, behind the Washington Senators’ selection of outfielder JeffBurroughs, and played his entire high school career with Lincoln High School. Richard never lost a game he started in hisHigh School career.
Richard turned down more than 200 basketball scholarship offers to sign with the Houston Houston Astros. The Astros would later select him with the second Overall pick in their 1969 amateur Baseball draft. His 313 strikeouts in 1979 remained an Astros franchise record until Gerrit Cole surpassed it on September 24, 2019, and he held the team’s record for career strikeouts until 1987. During the 1970–71 off-season, Richard led the American Association of Professional Baseball with 202 complete games and 202 strikeouts. In one game Richard hit four consecutive home runs while pitching his team to a 48–0 victory against its local rival, Jonesboro’s Jackson High School, Richard was promoted to the Cocoa Astros of the Florida State League in high-A minor league baseball. The following year, at 20 years of age, Richard waspromoted to the Covington Astros, a rookie-level minor league team in the Appalachian League. In 56 innings, Richard struck out 71 batters but walked 52 and gave up 41 earned runs, resulting in a 6. 59 earned run average. Despite his 4–11–loss record, Richard finished the season with a 2. 39 ERA and even threw a no-hitter against the Daytona Beach Dodgers. In 1975, Richard played his first full season as a starting pitcher. Richard again compiled a low hits per 9 innings ratio by giving up only 67 hits in 109 total innings pitched. He started all of the games he pitched that season, and pitched eight games and complete eight games with the Oklahoma City 89ers.