J.R. Richard Dies From COVID-19 Complications | Bo Porter Remembers The Black Ace

Bo Porter and his Future All-Stars Baseball Development Academy, where Richard devoted much of his time this summer sharing skills and jewels with the youth players, put out this message in memory of one of our heroes.


Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the transition of Coach J.R. Richard to the gates of heaven. J.R.’s life was centered in Christ as a faithful believer, and his love for youth allowed him to pour into the student-athletes at Bo Porter’s Future All-Stars Baseball Development Academy.


The second pick of the 1969 MLB Draft, Richard was inducted into the Astros’ inaugural Hall of Fame in 2020. He is considered one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history. 

His life’s work has impacted the lives of countless people.
We’re forever grateful to have called him our brother, coach and trusted friend.

Thank you, J.R., for sharing your wisdom, expertise and heart with us.

The example you set and the fortitude you displayed for our student-athletes inspired them all. We were blessed to have you as a coach.
This is undoubtedly a deep loss for all those touched by the giving heart of this special man.

Please keep J.R.‘s wife, Mrs. Lula Richard, and their family in your prayers.

Rest well, Mr. Richard, on a job well done, as a good and faithful servant.


For JR Gamble’s exclusive ME2ME CORE Magazine interview with Richard, subscribe to core-mag.com


The 15 Black Aces


Richard is one of 15 African-American pitchers in MLB history to win 20 or more games in a season. He’s an exclusive member of the “Black Ace” club.

The 6-foot-8 220-pound franchise pitcher, from 1976-1980 was probably the best mound marauder in all of professional baseball.

The term “Black Aces,” derived from the book, Baseball’s Only African-American Twenty-Game Winners, written by former major leaguer, and group member, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, the first African-American 20-game winner in the American League (Minnesota Twins, 1965) and the first African-American to win a World Series Game in the American League (1965).

The book is a historically accurate description of the lives of the thirteen African-American 20-game winners in the Majors that existed when the book was released in 2007.

The 15 Black Aces 

Canadian-born Ferguson Jenkins won 20-games or more a remarkable seven times (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)

Bullet Bob Gibson did it five times (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)

Dave Stewart did it four times (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)

Don Newcombe (1951, 1955 and 1956), and Vida Blue (1971, 1973, 1975) both won 20 or more games three times.

Dontrelle Willis (2005), CC Sabathia(2010), David Price (2012),  Al Downing(1971), Dwight Gooden (1985), Sam Jones (1959), Mike Norris (1980), J.R. Richard (1976), Earl Wilson (1967) and of course, Mudcat Grant (1965) all did it once.

Dave “Smoke” Stewart is the last Black pitcher to post multiple 20-win seasons

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