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Astros legend James Rodney ''J.R. Richard''

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Mr. J.R. Richard, a large and intimidating right-hander who struck out more than 600 batters over two seasons for the Astros in a 10-year career cut short by a stroke, died Wednesday at age 71.


James Rodney Richard, all 6-feet-8 of him, was drafted No. 2 overall in 1969 but despite striking out 15 batters in his first big league start, he didn't win a full-time job as a starter until 1975. For the next 5 1/2 seasons he was a dominant pitcher, winning 20 games in 1976, leading the Majors in strikeouts in 1978-79 and ERA in '79. Throwing a 100-mph fastball and a sharp breaking pitch, he also led the Majors in wild pitches three times, which made him all the more difficult to face.


Richard had a 107-71 record with a 3.15 ERA and 76 complete games. He won 18 or more games in four straight seasons (1976-79). In 1978, he became the first Astros pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts in a season with 303, a record he broke the following season with 313 strikeouts. Sadly, his playing career was cut short by health issues, but his 10 years in an Astros uniform stand out as a decade of excellence.


On the Astros' all-time lists, Richard ranks tied for second in career ERA (3.15), third in strikeouts (1,493), fourth in complete games (76) and fifth in wins (107) and shutouts (19). In 2019, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame.


“Today 08/05/2021 is a sad day for the family as J.R. Richard died in a Houston hospital at the age of 71 on Wednesday night. Richard was hospitalized last month in mid-June with complications from COVID-19. J.R. will forever be remembered as an intimidating figure on the mound and as one of the greatest pitchers in club history. He stood shoulder to shoulder with club icons Larry Dierker, Joe Niekro and Nolan Ryan, to form a few of the best rotations in club history. You will FOREVER and a day be missed. This is the OFFICAL go-fund me page for the ICON and any donations or gifts of love will be greatly appreciated.


Sincerely Yours,

The Diamond League Inc.


Golfcrest, TX

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