Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



The J.R. Richard Story: From Unhittable to Homeless 2

Posted on October 19, 2009 by Blaine Spence

J.R. Richard was 107-71 with 1,493 strikeouts when his career was cut short by a stroke.

J.R. Richard was 107-71 with 1,493 strikeouts when his career was cut short by a stroke.

The amazing thing about J.R. Richard was that he could throw a baseball hard, really hard. One of Richard’s pitches was once clocked at 98 miles per hour. Oh, did I fail to mention that this particular pitch was his slider? His fastball was regularly gunned in the triple digits, and on more than one occasion reached 103 mph.

Born to parents Clayton and Lizzie back on March 7 in the year of our lord 1950, it didn’t take long for James Rodney Richard to figure out he liked sports. It also didn’t take long for him, and the surrounding communities, to realize he excelled at them.

Basketball and baseball were the two sports that quickly showcased Richard’s physical gifts.

As a pitcher, imagine not losing a single high school game for your career, and not giving up a single run in your senior year. How about hitting four consecutive jacks, and in the same game pitching your team to a 48-0 shellacking of your opponent?

His basketball prowess was such that Richard entertained offers of scholarships from nearly every elite college program in the country. He turned every one of them down flat.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Would You Trade Five Players and Two Draft Picks for Anthony Davis?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top