Astros Hall of Fame J.R. Richard passes away

J.R. Richard was so much more than a pitcher who lost it all in the blink of an eye

J.R. Richard, one of the most intimidating pitchers in baseball history and one of its most tragic tales, died on Wednesday, it was confirmed by the Houston Astros. He was 71.

“Today is a sad day for the Houston Astros as we mourn the loss of one of our franchise icons, J.R. Richard,” the team said in a statement. “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.

“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. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans.”

Richard won the ERA title with a 2.71 mark in 1979, and he earned his first All-Star appearance in 1980 before suffering a career-ending stroke in July 1980. He was inducted into the Astros’ Hall of Fame with 2019’s inaugural class.