|Pitcher / Outfielder|
May 5, 1857|
|Died: October 1, 1929
|September 27, 1879 for the Boston Red Stockings|
Last MLB appearance
|October 4, 1886 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings|
|Earned run average||3.06|
|Runs batted in||113|
Career highlights and awards
J. Lee Richmond (May 5, 1857 – October 1, 1929) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for the Boston Red Stockings, Worcester Worcesters, Providence Grays, and Cincinnati Red Stockings, and is best known for pitching the first perfect game. After retiring from baseball, he became a teacher.
Professional baseball career
On June 2, 1879, Richmond was paid $10 to pitch for Worcester of the National Baseball Association in an exhibition game against the Chicago White Stockings. He pitched a seven-inning no-hitter and signed with Worcester after the game. On July 28, he pitched a no-hitter against Springfield.
Worcester joined the National League in 1880, and Richmond signed with the team for $2,400 that season. Before a game against Cleveland on June 12, Richmond was up all night taking part in college graduation events, and he went to bed at 6:30 AM. He caught the 11:30 AM train for Worcester so he could pitch in the afternoon contest and then pitched a perfect game to beat Cleveland, 1–0. According to the Chicago Tribune, "The Clevelands were utterly helpless before Richmond's puzzling curves, retiring in every inning in one, two, three order, without a base hit. The Worcesters played a perfect fielding game." Cleveland pitcher Jim McCormick allowed three hits, and the only run was scored on a double error by Fred Dunlap.
Richmond graduated from Brown University four days after the perfect game, and he finished the year with a win–loss record of 32–32, a 2.15 earned run average, and 243 strikeouts in 590.2 innings pitched. He was the first left-handed pitcher to win 30 games in a season.
Richmond pitched over 400 innings in both 1881 and 1882. After the 1882 season, the Worcester franchise disbanded, and Richmond played for the NL's Providence Grays in 1883. He experienced arm problems and was primarily an outfielder that year. He finished his MLB career with a record of 75–100, a 3.06 ERA, and 552 strikeouts.
After the 1883 baseball season, Richmond established a medical practice. He then changed careers, and from 1890 to 1921, he was a high school teacher in Toledo, Ohio. Richmond married Mary Naomi Chapin, his former student, in 1892, and had three children: Ruth, Dorothy, and Jane. He died in Toledo in 1929.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Lee Richmond at Find a Grave
June 12, 1880
John Montgomery Ward