All-Time MLB Players From Lafayette: Lee Richard
There have been a number of individuals from Lafayette, and the Acadiana area, that have played in Major League Baseball over the years.
Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana has produced even more.
As a matter of fact, 246 people born in the state of Louisiana have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, beginning in 1874, with John Peters of New Orleans, who played 11 years, with the likes of the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Grays, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, and Pittsburgh Alleghenys.
All summer, we'll preview a player from the state of Louisiana that appeared in Major League baseball, starting with players from Lafayette, before spotlighting players from the Acadiana area, and then a few from the state itself.
Today, we spotlight, Lee "Bee Bee" Richard.
Born in Lafayette in 1948, Richard, an infielder, played five seasons in Major League Baseball, from 1971-1972, and then from 1974-1976, becoming the first person born in Lafayette to appear in the big leagues.
After playing his college baseball at Southern University, Richard was drafted by the Chicago White Sox, with the 6th-overall pick, of the 1970 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Richard played minor league baseball for the Mobile White Sox and the Tucson Toros 1970, hitting a combined .286, before beginning 1971 in Tucson, where he got off to a great start, hitting a .368.
The White Sox took notice, and called up Richard to the parent squad, at the age of 22.
Richard played well in his first MLB season, hitting a .286 with 2 home runs and 17 runs batted in, while reaching career highs in games played (87), at-bats (260), hits (60), doubles (7), triples (3), home runs (2), runs batted in (17), and stolen bases (8).
Unfortunately, Richard would never again match the success of his rookie season.
In 1972, Richard's batting average slipped to a .241 in only 29 at-bats.
After spending all of 1973 back in the minor leagues, Richard was back with the White Sox for parts of 1974 and 1975, before ending his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976.
In 5 Major League Baseball seasons, covering 239 games, Richard hit a .209, to go along with 2 homers, 29 RBI's, and 12 stolen bases.
Richard made his debut on April 7 of 1971, while making his final appearance on October 3 of 1976.