KMJQ Featured Video
Houston Astros v New York Mets

Source: Focus On Sport / Getty

J.R. Richard, the Astros legend who at one point held the team’s single-season strikeout record and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2020, has died. He was 71.

The 6-foot-8 Richard was the No. 2 overall pick of the Astros in 1969 and twice led the National League in strikeouts. He still remains second in Astros history for career ERA, third in strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan and Roy Oswalt, fifth in wins (107) and shutouts (19).

“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.”

Richard’s playing career was cut short in 1980 when he suffered a stroke during pregame drills. He was the starting picture for the National League in the 1980 All-Star Game and won 18 or more games three times including a 20-win season in 1976.