The Houston Astros lost a franchise legend on Thursday, as former pitcher J.R. Richard has died.
The Astros shared the unfortunate news that Richard, who is in the team’s Hall of Fame, has died at age 71.
Astros Hall of Fame starting pitcher J.R. Richard, one of the greatest players to don an Astros uniform, has passed away. He was 71 years old. pic.twitter.com/ylqq2nPQMi
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 5, 2021
Richard spent all 10 of his MLB seasons with the Astros from 1971-1980. He was 6-foot-8 and threw 100 mph, so he was known for being an intimidating presence on the mound. The right-hander went 107-71 with a 3.15 ERA and 765 complete games in his career.
Richard’s career took a tragic turn in 1980 when he suffered a stroke amid what was his best MLB season. He was named to his first All-Star Game that year after going 10-4 with a 1.96 ERA over the first half of the season. Richard suffered a stroke while playing catch before a game on July 30, 1980. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found a life-threatening blood clot in his neck.
While he attempted a comeback and spent several years in the minors, Richard was never the same after the stroke. He was inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame in 2019.