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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Stroke during workout ends Richard's career
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

July 30, 1980

Though J.R. Richard has a 10-4 record, 1.89 ERA and started the All-Star Game earlier this month, the 30-year-old Houston Astros fireballer has been complaining for the past several weeks of fatigue in his right arm. He was hospitalized last week while tests were run on him, but doctors didn't believe there was anything seriously wrong with Richard.

Put on the disabled list two weeks ago, the 6-foot-8 right-hander is throwing to former Astros catcher Wilbur Howard in a light workout in the Astrodome when he collapses, victim of a stroke. He is rushed to a Houston hospital, where a two-hour emergency surgery is performed for removal of a life-threatening blood clot in his neck.

While the blocked artery is cleared, Richard will never pitch in the majors again. Twice the National League strikeout leader with more than 300, he finishes his career with a 107-71 record.

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