J.R. Richard - Timeline

Astros Trades & Transactions

Jun 5, 1969:1. Drafted JR Richard(P) (#2 pick overall) in 1969 Summer Draft
Apr 27, 1984:Released J.R. Richard(P)

This Date in Astros History

Mar 7, 1950:James Rodney Richard is born in Vienna, LA. Arguably the most intimidating pitcher in Astros history, Richard compiles a 107-71 record with 19 shutouts and 1,493 strikeouts in his ten seasons in Houston (1971-1980).
Jan 25, 1951:Vern Ruhle is born in Midland, MI. Ruhle spends seven seasons as an Astro pitcher, best known for taking over a spot in the starting rotation in 1980 when J.R. Richard suffered a stroke and helping Houston win their first division crown. Later, he is a successful pitching coach in Houston under manager Larry Dierker.
Jun 5, 1969:Joe Morgan goes 4-for-4, including a home run and four runs scored, to pace the Astros past St. Louis, 11-6, at the Astrodome. Dooley Womack, the last of six Houston pitchers, gets the victory. Houston wins off the field too, choosing pitcher James Rodney Richard of Ruston, LA with the second overall pick in the draft, behind Jeff Burroughs. Richard has a 21-0 mark in his three years at Ruston High School.
Sep 5, 1971:J.R. Richard fans Hal Lanier to end a complete-game victory in his big league debut. The 5-3 win caps a doubleheader sweep in San Francisco. Richard's 15 strikeouts ties the record for a major league premiere, which Brooklyn's Karl Spooner set in 1954. Jack Billingham whiffs 11 Giants in the opener, a 1-0 shutout. The combined 26 strikeouts sets a major league mark by one team in a twinbill.
Aug 1, 1973:In a foreshadowing of coming years, J.R. Richard's first major league shutout is against the Dodgers . It's a five-hit performance with nine strikeouts and five walks. Jim Wynn breaks out of a long slump with an RBI double that sparks the 5-0 victory.
Aug 20, 1973:J.R. Richard tosses a two-hitter as Houston bombs the Pirates, 10-2. Al Oliver breaks up his no-hit bid in the seventh. By then, Lee May had launched a three-run shot and Bob Watson had belted a grand slam.
Apr 29, 1975:The Astros explode for eight runs in the seventh to topple the Padres, 8-2. J.R. Richard starts the scoring with a two-run single. Roger Metzger ends it in the same manner. Jose Cruz has two hits in the inning. Richard tosses a five-hitter.
May 4, 1975:Bob Watson scores baseball's millionth run in the first game of a doubleheader split in San Francisco. Despite Milt May's homer, Watson runs full speed around the bases, edging Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion for the milestone moment . Watson should have given lessons about finding home plate. A record 41 walks are issued in the twinbill, with an league-record 26 coming in the nightcap which Houston pulls out, 12-8. J.R. Richard walks a club-record eleven batters in the second game.
Aug 10, 1975:The woeful "Lastros" sweep a four-game series from division-leading Pittsburgh, 5-3. J.R. Richard walks nine in six innings but allows just one hit for the win. Jerry DaVanon beats George Brett by eight years when his sixth-inning single is overturned after his bat is found with too much pine tar. DaVanon accidentally rubbed pine tar on the wrong end of his bat while in the on-deck circle and Pirate catcher Manny Sanguillen alertly handed the bat to the plate umpire.
Apr 21, 1976:Jose Cruz ends a numbing 1-0 victory over the Dodgers in the 16th inning. Cruz singles off Stan Wall to score Larry Milbourne for the game's only run. Mike Barlow tosses one inning for the win after J.R. Richard pitched for ten and Ken Forsch threw for five.
Oct 2, 1976:J.R. Richard becomes Houston's second 20-game winner and he does it impressively, a 13-strikeout complete game 10-1 thrashing of the Giants. Richard add three hits at the plate, including a home run, and drives in three. It wraps up an 80-82 season, a 15-1/2 game improvement in Bill Virdon's first full year at the helm.
Nov 2, 1976:Amazingly, it takes 15 years for Houston to garner a vote in the Cy Young Award balloting. The vote goes to J.R. Richard, who has a 20-win season, but he is well behind San Diego's Randy Jones in the returns.
Aug 15, 1977:Art Howe's first-inning grand slam keys a six-run first inning on Houston's way to a 15-3 laugher in Atlanta. Rob Sperring and J.R. Richard also launch bombs before the Astros wait through a rain delay with a 15-0 lead. Sperring gets four hits. Dan Larson tosses four innings of relief for the "save".
Sep 12, 1977:Jose Cruz and Cesar Cedeno both sock a pair of homers, blasting Cincinnati, 7-2. Bob Watson belts another for good measure. Cedeno has four hits, including a triple. J.R. Richards whiffs eleven Reds for his 15th win.
May 15, 1978:J.R. Richard two-hits Philadelphia in a 5-0 shutout. He fans nine and allows two harmless singles. Bob Watson 's two-run homer paces the offense. Phillie catcher Bob Boone has a rough night, committing two errors and suffering five bruises before being tossed in an argument with umpire Bruce Froemming.
May 20, 1978:J.R. Richard fires his second-straight shutout in a 13-0 drubbing of the Braves. Jose Cruz is the batting star with four hits and six RBIs. Enos Cabell contributes three hits while Denny Walling launches his first major league home run.
May 30, 1978:J.R. Richard tosses three wild pitches in the seventh inning, wasting his own three-hitter in the process. His last errant one allows Larry Herndon to trot home with the only run in a 1-0 defeat by Bob Knepper and San Francisco. The wild pitches tie a record Richard had already tied once that season.
Sep 28, 1978:J.R. Richard becomes the first righthander in league history to reach 300 strikeouts during a 4-3 victory over Atlanta. He whiffs six to tally 303 for the season. J.R. also belts a homer off Larry McWilliams in the third. A double by Reggie Baldwin and a single by Rafael Landestoy in the seventh key the winning rally.
Apr 10, 1979:J.R. Richard ties a major-league record by throwing six wild pitches in a game against Los Angeles, but he also strikes out 13 in a 2-1 victory. Cesar Cedeno, Jose Cruz and Enos Cabell tag consecutive doubles off Burt Hooton in the fourth for the Houston runs.
Jun 30, 1979:J.R. Richard blanks the Padres on three hits, 3-0. Cesar Cedeno belts a homer and Jose Cruz adds three hits to spark the offense.
Aug 8, 1979:J.R. Richard fans 12 and delivers the game-winning hit during a 4-1 victory over Los Angeles. Terry Puhl opens the scoring with a first-inning blast off Burt Hooton. Richard's two-run single in the fifth ends the stalemate. It is J.R.'s tenth straight win over the Dodgers.
Sep 11, 1979:Cincinnati overtakes Houston for the N.L. West lead during a tense 9-8 loss at Riverfront Stadium. It is the Astros' first true pennant-race showdown. Both aces, Tom Seaver and J.R. Richard, start. They are long gone by the time Dave Concepcion and George Foster homer off Joe Sambito for the decisive runs. Rafael Landestoy goes 5-for-5 to pace Houston.
Sep 21, 1979:Bruce Bochy singles home Craig Reynolds with the game-winner as Houston clips the Reds, 3-2, in 13 innings, closing within 1-1/2 games of Cincinnati in the N.L. West race. Terry Puhl plates the other two runs with singles off Tom Seaver. J.R. Richard fans 15 in eleven innings and shocks everyone with a bunt single in the tenth. Richard presses his luck by trying to steal second where Johnny Bench's throw arrives well ahead of him.
Sep 25, 1979:J.R. Richard tops the 300-strikeout barrier for the second straight year, fanning 13 during a four-hit, 8-0 blanking of Atlanta. He would add eleven more four days later against the Dodgers to close with a team record of 313 for the season.
Nov 7, 1979:Cubs reliever Bruce Sutter narrowly edges Joe Niekro for the N.L. Cy Young Award. Joe ties with his brother Phil for the league lead in victories with 21. J.R. Richard finishes third in the voting despite leading the league in ERA (2.71) and strikeouts (313).
Apr 19, 1980:J.R. Richard one-hits Los Angeles in a 12-strikeout performance, his 13th straight win over the Dodgers. The only hit allowed is an infield single by Reggie Smith in the fourth inning.
Apr 25, 1980:J.R. Richard notches his 100th victory, toppling the Mets, 7-4. Art Howe contributes three hits and Jeff Leonard homers in the win.
Jun 11, 1980:J.R. Richard blanks the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, extending his shutout innings steak to 31-2/third innings. He fans eight and walks three, allowing six hits yet says his arm doesn't feel right. Jose Cruz and Denny Walling give Richard all the support he needs with RBI singles in the first inning. The win marks the first homestand sweep in Houston history, taking six from the Giants and Cubs.
Jul 8, 1980:J.R. Richard becomes the first Astro to be the starting pitcher in an All-Star Game. He fans three in two innings of work during a 4-2 National League win. While the short stint causes no pain in his tired right arm, Richard plans to have Dr. Frank Jobe examine it while he's in Los Angeles.
Jul 16, 1980:Despite speculation that his problems are psychological, J.R. Richard is placed on the 21-day disabled list after complaining of a "dead arm". He took himself out during the fourth inning of a 2-0 loss to Atlanta two days before, although he got one of the two Houston hits in what would be his final major league at-bat.
Jul 30, 1980:J.R. Richard collapses from a stroke while working out at the Astrodome. He is rushed to Methodist Hospital where surgery saves his life. His distracted teammates lose in Philadelphia, 6-4. Richard would never regain the coordination needed to resume his career.
Sep 6, 1980:Art Howe ties a club record with his eighth consecutive hit, a two-run single that paces a 9-5 win over St. Louis. A grand slam by Jose Cruz highlights the 6-4 nightcap for a twinbill sweep, drawing the Astros to within one game of the Dodgers for the N.L. West lead. Vern Ruhle goes the distance in the second game. Ruhle's performance while replacing J.R. Richard after his stroke keeps the Astros in the pennant race.
Apr 4, 1982:J.R. Richard tosses one inning in an exhibition game against Toronto. It would be his last appearance as an Astro after suffering a stroke in 1980. Richard gives up no runs and no hits but walks the bases full in the 3-2 victory.