One of the best pitchers in baseball for the latter half of the 1970’s, Richard won 107 games before his career was derailed by a stroke in 1980. Richard’s first appearance was with the Houston Astros in 1971. He pitched in four games that year and four more the following season. He continued to shuttle between the minors and majors for the next two seasons before earning a spot in Houston’s rotation in 1975. He had his breakout year the following season, going 20-15 with a 2.75 ERA. He finished seventh in the Cy Young vote that year and 17th in the MVP. Richard won 18 games for the Astros the next two years and led the National League in strikeouts in 1978 with 303. He finished fourth in the Cy Young vote that year and was third in 1979 when he won 18 games and struck out 313 hitters. He was well on his way to what might have been his best season yet in 1980, posting a 10-4 record with a 1.90 ERA when he suffered the career-ending stroke on July 30.
J.R. Richard – career stats