Astros pitching legend J.R. Richard dies at 71


J.R. Richard, a two-time Nationwide League strikeout champion with the Houston Astros whose profession was reduce quick in 1980 by a stroke, died Thursday on the age of 71, the workforce introduced.

In 10 seasons with the Astros, Richard was 107-71 with a 3.15 ERA and 1,493 strikeouts — together with 313 in 1979, which stood because the workforce’s single-season report till Gerrit Cole surpassed it in 2019. He nonetheless ranks tied for second in workforce historical past for profession ERA, third in strikeouts — behind solely Nolan Ryan and Roy Oswalt — and fifth in wins and shutouts (19).

“At this time is a tragic day for the Houston Astros as we mourn the lack of considered one of our franchise icons, J.R. Richard,” the workforce mentioned in a press release. “J.R. will without end be remembered as an intimidating determine on the mound and as one of many best pitchers in membership historical past. He stood shoulder to shoulder with membership icons Larry Dierker, Joe Niekro and Nolan Ryan, to type just a few of the perfect rotations in membership historical past.”

The 6-foot-8 Richard, who began the 1980 All-Star Recreation for the Nationwide League, was recognized for his 100 mph fastball as a lot as he was for his devastating breaking pitch. He gained a career-high 20 video games in 1976 — considered one of three seasons with 18 wins or extra. He led the NL with a 2.71 ERA in 1979, when he went 18-13 and had a 3.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 292 1/3 innings over 38 begins.

“He had the best stuff I’ve ever seen,” Corridor of Famer Joe Morgan as soon as mentioned, “and it nonetheless provides me goose bumps to consider what he might need turn out to be.”

Richard was taking part in catch throughout pregame drills contained in the Astrodome when he suffered the stroke in July 1980.

The second total choose of the 1969 MLB draft, Richard was inducted into the Astros’ inaugural Corridor of Fame in 2020.

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