Reports: Astros great J.R. Richard dies at 71

Houston Astros pitching legend J.R. Richard died Wednesday night at a Houston hospital at age 71, per multiple reports.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander played with the Astros from 1971-80 before his career was cut short when he suffered a stroke at the age of 30.

Richard was a 20-game winner in 1976, topped the National League in strikeouts in 1978 and 1979 and led the NL in ERA in 1979.

He started in the 1980 All-Star Game, just three weeks before he had a stroke while playing catch at Houston’s Astrodome on July 30.

He posted a 107-71 record with a 3.15 ERA and 19 shutouts and 76 complete games in 238 games (221 starts), striking out 1,493 batters in 1,606 innings. Richard ranks fifth in Astros history in wins and is third in strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan (1,866) and Roy Oswalt (1,593).

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