Tuesday, October 15, 2019

1981 Topps Gene Richards

The front: Simple spring training shot. The photographer couldn’t get Richards to smile.

The back: Richards’s rookie stolen base record would be shattered by Vince Coleman in 1985. In 2016, Brandon Crawford became the first National Leaguer to get seven hits in an extra-inning game.

The player: Gene Richards was a dynamic leadoff hitter and left-fielder for the Padres from 1977 to 1983. He was one of the last major leagues to regularly hit choked up on the bat, with several inches of handle below his hands. In 1,026 games he hit .290 with 26 HR, 255 RBI and 247 SB. He led the National League in triples in 1981. He signed as a free agent with the Giants in 1984 but due to a knee injury, only played in 87 games for them, hitting .252 with 0 HR, 4 RBI and 5 SB, ending his career.

The man: Richards was a scout and minor league coach for many years. He now owns Gene’s Road to the Big Leagues in Reno, NV.

My collection: I have 20 of his cards, from 1977 to 1985. I would be interested in trading for 1984 Fleer Update #98.

1 comment:

  1. He could hit and run. That photo though...unfortunate...