The Astros have retired a stupid number of...numbers. Some are self-explanatory, and totally reasonable: Bagwell, Biggio, Dierker, Ryan, Jimmy Wynn. Others? Jim Umbricht? Don Wilson?
But that J.R. Richard's number 50 hasn't been retired is borderline criminal. Well that can maybe sort of change with this Facebook campaign to retire J.R. Richard's number.
Richard spent all of his ten seasons with the Astros, posting a 107-71 record with a 3.15 ERA/1.24 WHIP. His 2.71 ERA in 1979 led the league, as did his 303 and 313 strikeouts in 1978 and 1979, respectively. His 9.9 and 9.6 K/9 in that same time frame, and finished in the top 10 in wins in the NL in each season from 1976-1979. His 1.90 ERA in 1980 is 4th-best in franchise history and is one of seven Astros pitchers to win 20 games in a season.
He also is 7th in franchise history in career WAR, 5th in career wins, and 3rd in career strikeouts.
And if the Astros can retire Umbricht's number because of a comeback from cancer, surely J.R. Richard's story - and excellence - is worthy of no Astro ever wear the number 50 again.