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J.R. Richard: Back on His Feet


OFFNY
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I was 14 and-a-half years-old in the summer of 1980 when James Rodney Richard's career and life were altered by a stroke that nearly killed him.

Since then Richard has sustained two divorces, and eventually wound up homeless on the streets of Houston.

After being rescued by a local Pastor, Richard wound up meeting his 3rd wife Lula, whom he lives with today.

 

Astros Great Richard Back on His Feet

(By Roy Bragg)

http://www.expressnews.com/sports/columnists/roy-bragg/article/Astros-great-Richard-back-on-his-feet-6397250.php

 

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I was 14 and-a-half years-old in the summer of 1980 when James Rodney Richard's career and life were altered by a stroke that nearly killed him.

Since then Richard has sustained two divorces, and eventually wound up homeless on the streets of Houston.

After being rescued by a local Pastor, Richard wound up meeting his 3rd wife Lula, whom he lives with today.

Astros Great Richard Back on His Feet

(By Roy Bragg)

http://www.expressnews.com/sports/columnists/roy-bragg/article/Astros-great-Richard-back-on-his-feet-6397250.php

Thanks for the this update. I can't recall what year, but I was browsing All-Star game YouTubes awhile back and his name flashed back through my memory after seeing one clip. What a terrible path to have endured. I remember this awful news. I was in my last year of organized baseball, the summer after graduation high school. For some reason, it seemed earlier than that, but 1980 it was. Seems like a lifetime ago. Probably seems like four lifetimes ago for him.

Edit: Btw, being a digital subscriber only story, what was said about the aftermath of his physical rehabilitation and what muscle or limb use did he regain or not regain? Still painful to think about him having to endure all of that.

(I looked it up on Wikipedia. I didn't realize he'd attempted a comeback. A fairly thorough documented story of it is here. The "dead arm" feeling he had leading up to his stroke was really tough to read.

Edited by NashLumber
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Yeah, I kind of remember that he was complaining about various symptoms leading up to his stroke, and the Astros and the Houston press basically accused him of being shiftless.

Makes it even sadder.

Here's the YouTube of his All-Star appearance not long before his stroke. Two scoreless innings.

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NashLumber said:

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(I looked it up) on Wikipedia. I didn't realized that he'd attempted a comeback. A fairly thorough documented story of it is here. The "dead arm" feeling that he had leading up to his stroke was really tough to read.

 

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Nigel Tufnel said:

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Yeah, I kind of remember that he was complaining about various symptoms leading up to his stroke, and the Astros and the Houston press basically accused him of being shiftless.

 

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I remember it happening at the time, and it was disgusting.

While Richard was complaining of numbness in his arm and subsequently easing up a little on his throwing routines, there were reporters and Houston Astros officials questioning his heart and desire ...... in other words, they were insinuating that he (Richard) was "jaking it."

I remember Jerry Girard (WPIX newscaster up here in New York) incredulously quoting some of those reporters and officials. Just before Richard suffered the stroke, they had said, "I saw him eating chicken in the locker room. How sick can he (Richard) be if he is eating chicken in the locker room?"  to which Girard facetiously stated,  "Aha !!! He was eating chicken in the locker room. Now we know that he is loafing, and exaggerating his symptoms."

 

I was disgusted at the entire situation at the time (when I was 14 and-a-half years old), and I still am.

 

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I remember it happening at the time, and it was disgusting.

While Richard was complaining of numbness in his arm and subsequently easing up a little on his throwing routines, there were reporters and Houston Astros officials questioning his heart and desire ...... in other words, they were insinuating that he (Richard) was "jaking it."

I remember Jerry Girard (WPIX newscaster up her in New York) incredulously quoting some of those reporters and officials. Just before Richard suffered the stroke, they had said, "I saw him eating chicken in the locker room. How sick can he (Richard) be if he is eating chicken in the locker room?" To which Girard facetiously stated, "Aha !!! He was eating chicken in the locker room. Now we know that he is loafing, and exaggerating his symptoms."

I was disgusted at the entire situation at the time (when I was 14 and-a-half years old), and I still am.

Sickening. Found an ESPN interview with him that documents some of that. Living under a bridge and being mocked by drug addicts.

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Makes it even sadder.

Here's the YouTube of his All-Star appearance not long before his stroke. Two scoreless innings.

Blew away Fisk with the high heat.

And I have always remembered Steve Stone's at bat. Probably the most over matched batter I have ever seen in a major league game. In the one pitch they show in that clip you see Steve literally jumping backward while trying to swing.

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On 8/3/2015 at 6:05 PM, OFFNY said:

o

 

I remember it happening at the time, and it was disgusting.

While Richard was complaining of numbness in his arm and subsequently easing up a little on his throwing routines, there were reporters and Houston Astros officials questioning his heart and desire ...... in other words, they were insinuating that he (Richard) was "jaking it."

I remember Jerry Girard (WPIX newscaster up here in New York) incredulously quoting some of those reporters and officials. Just before Richard suffered the stroke, they had said, "I saw him eating chicken in the locker room. How sick can he (Richard) be if he is eating chicken in the locker room?"  to which Girard facetiously stated,  "Aha !!! He was eating chicken in the locker room. Now we know that he is loafing, and exaggerating his symptoms."

 

I was disgusted at the entire situation at the time (when I was 14 and-a-half years old), and I still am.

 

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All these years later, the great J.R. Richard has finally gotten some well-deserved recognition.

He was among five players honored (Eddie Murray, Dick Allen, Kenny Lofton, James Mudcat Grant, and Richard himself) at the Negro Leagues Hall-of-Game ceremony selected.

 

 

From Baseball All-Star to Homeless to Minister: J.R. Richard's Journey

(By Shaun Goodwin)

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/article212895019.html

 

 

 

 

J.R. Richard stands next to his Negro Leagues Baseball Museum picture dedicated to him before his Hall-of-Game induction on Saturday, June 9. 

J.R.%20Richard

 

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