At 6'8" and 220 pounds, Richard was an intimidating figure on the mound. Richard would lead the National League in strikeouts in 1978 with 303 strikeouts and 1979 with 313. Imagine the excitement of the Astros fans when fellow fireballer Nolan Ryan was signed by Houston for the 1980 season. But the anticipated record setting strikeouts by Ryan and Richard never came to be.
|J.R. Richard and Nolan Ryan|
Here is footage of J.R. Richard in his only All-Star appearance in 1980:
I have to say, that the little limited action I got to see of Richard (either on This Week in Baseball or the occasional Game of the Week broadcast) was downright impressive. Its sad to think about where his career could of ended up had it not been derailed by health issues. At least there is a happy ending to the story, with Richard being healthy and back on his feet. Will Richard ever get his wish of getting his number 50 retired by the Astros? We'll have to wait and see.
Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
For Further Reading:
- Click here to access J.R. Richard's career statistics from Baseball Reference.com
- Click here to access the article entitled From Unhittable to Homeless: The J.R. Richard Story By Blaine Spence from Bleacher Report dated July 14, 2009
- Click here to access the article J.R. Richard appreciates Astros honor but wants more by Zachary Levine from the Ultimate Astros Blog Page from the Houston Chronicle dated May 31, 2012