Mar 19, 2021

Mid Sixties Mets Relief Pitcher: Gordie Richardson (1965-1966)

Gordon Clark Richardson
was born on July 19, 1938 in Colquitt, Georgia. The area is a farming area, where Gordie's father managed a cow pasture team. He started pitching because he was the only left hander around. 
The six foot tall lefty, was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1957. 

He won double figures in the minor leagues from 1961-1963 at AA Tulsa, with a best 13 victories in 1962. 

MLB Career: He made his MLB debut, on July 26th 1964, with the '64 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. That day Gordie, pitched the only complete game of his career. He beat the first place, Philadelphia Phillies 6-1. 

He pitched as both starter & reliever in 19 games for St. Louis that season, going 4-2 with a save & a 2.30 ERA. He helped the Cardinals catch the Phillies lose a giant first place lead, in one of the biggest collapses in MLB history.

1964 World Series: He made two brief appearances in the World Series, getting roughed up for
three runs in 2/3 of an inning. His official World Series ERA was a ridiculous, 40.50. 

That off season he was traded along with outfielder,  Johnny Lewis to the New York Mets for short stop, Elio Chacon and veteran pitcher, Tracy Stallard. 

Spring Training No Hitter:
On March 21st 1965, Richardson came in relief of a 6-0 Mets exhibition game against the Pitts Pirates. Gary Kroll had no hit the Mets thru six. Richardson, finished off the no hitter with three hitless, scoreless innings. In the 8th veteran catcher, Del Crandall had reached on an error. The Mets would not have another no hitter until 2012, when Johan Santana did it in the regular season.

Mets Career: Richardson debuted in the regular season, with the Mets, on July 9th 1965 in a game against the Houston Astros at Shea Stadium. He entered in relief of Jack Fisher, in a 6-2 loss. On July 31st, Richardson, earned his first save, a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. 


On August 22nd, he came in relief of a game where the Mets were trailing the Cardinals 5-2 in the 8th inning, at Shea Stadium. The Mets had a huge five run bottom of the 8th, with RBI hits from Ed Kranepool & Joe Christopher, as well as a three run HR from Jim Hickman. The Mets won it & Richardson got his first win.

 His second win, was a 6.2 inning performance in relief of Jack Fisher once again. This time in a 7-
5 comeback win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gordie would pitch in 35 games out of the Mets bullpen, going 2-2 with two saves and a 3.78 ERA.


In 1966 he was 0-2 allowing 14 earned runs over his last four outings, a total of just two full innings pitched. His ERA skyrocketed to 9.16 in June & he was shipped back down to the minors. He finished the year at AAA Jacksonville & retired after the season at age 32.

He finished up his three year career at 6-6 with four saves, 86 strike outs & 37 walks in 118 innings pitched, with a lifetime 4.04 ERA.

Retirement:
Richardson, chose to buy the 750 acre farm he & his family were renting. He became a full time farmer & raised his children there, eventually building a swimming pool & tennis courts on the property.

Quotes- Gordie Richardson: "I don't regret playing & I don't regret quitting. I enjoyed it & got to see a lot of places a country boy wouldn't have been able to".

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