Astros pitching legend J.R. Richard passes away

Richard throws out the first pitch before the Astros played the Reds on June 1, 2012. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Iconic Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard, who played all 10 seasons of his MLB career in Houston, has died, the team announced on Thursday, August 5.

The right-handed pitcher, who began his major league playing career in 1971, is the latest passing involving a member of the team's Hall of Fame.

"J.R. will forever be remembered as an intimidating figure on the mound and as one of the greatest pitchers in club history. He stood shoulder to shoulder with club icons Larry Dierker, Joe Niekro and Nolan Ryan, to form a few of the best rotations in club history," the Astros said in a statement.

The Astros also mentioned his abrupt retirement in 1980 after he suffered a stroke in the middle of that season.

The team, which is slated to induct its next class of the Astros Hall of Fame this coming weekend, said it will hold a moment of silence before Thursday night's game at Minute Maid Park.

Richard's career will also be recognized as part of the hall of fame induction ceremony prior to Saturday's game.

Richard was 71 years old.

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