Gene Richards (baseball)

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Gene Richards
Born: (1953-09-29) September 29, 1953 (age 60)
Monticello, South Carolina
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 6, 1977 for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1984 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Batting average .290
Home runs 26
Runs batted in 255
Career highlights and awards
  • Led NL in triples in 1981

Eugene Richards Jr. (born September 29, 1953) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. He played eight seasons in the Majors, from 1977 until 1984, for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants. He is currently a baseball instructor for little league, high school, and college players in Reno, Nevada.

Early life[edit]

Richards was born in Monticello, South Carolina, and attended South Carolina State University.

Playing career[edit]

He was the first player selected (by the Padres) in the 1975 January Major League Baseball Draft. He threw and batted left-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg). Richards played two seasons (1975–1976) of minor league baseball. In his first pro season, spent with the Class A Reno Silver Sox, he led the 1975 California League in hits (191 in 134 games played), runs (148), stolen bases (85) and batting average (.381). Reno won the California League championship and Richards was named the circuit's Most Valuable Player.[1] Promoted all the way to the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders in 1976, he led the Pacific Coast League in hits (173) and batted .331.[1]

In 1977, he made his Major League debut with San Diego and set a modern-day rookie record with 56 stolen bases (which has since been broken twice: in 1984, when Juan Samuel stole 72 bases for the Philadelphia Phillies; and in 1985, when Vince Coleman had 110 thefts for the St. Louis Cardinals, a record that stands to this day.) In 1980, Richards was tied for 22nd place in MVP voting. In 1980 he led the league in singles with 151, and set a then-Padres single-season record with 194 hits, broken by Tony Gwynn in 1984.[2] In 1981 he was tied for the NL lead in triples with 12.

During his Major League career, Richards hit 26 home runs. He also led the National League in 1980–1981 in assists by an outfielder. He had 247 stolen bases in his career, with a career-best 61 during the 1980 season. He had 63 career triples and 127 doubles, and 1,028 hits. He especially had successes against the Chicago Cubs. In one game he went 6 out of 7 in a 15-inning game.

Richards held then-Padres career records for triples (63) and steals (242), also broken by Gwynn.[3][4]

Coaching career[edit]

Richards retired as an active player following the 1984 Major League season. He spent almost two decades as a coach, roving instructor, and manager in minor league baseball, working in the California/Anaheim Angels' farm system (1992–2001) and the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization (2002–2004). Richards managed the New York Mets' Class A Hagerstown Suns affiliate (2005). He has instructed such players as Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Shane Victorino, Franklin Gutierrez, Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, Troy Glaus, and David Ross, among others. He also served as a Major League scout for the Seattle Mariners.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, N.C.: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3. 
  2. ^ Center, Bill (October 7, 2001). "THE GREATEST PADRE: career timeline: '84". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "San Diego Padres Top 10 Batting Leaders –". Retrieved April 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Center, Bill (October 7, 2001). "Through the years: '90 - '91". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 

External links[edit]