Friday, December 1, 2023

I Have Never Written A Post About Chris Richard

Who is the Durham Bulls all-time home run leader? 

My Chris Richard collection started while he was in the Minors with the Cardinals. I was at my local card shop and bought a pack of Royal Rookies. It was an inexpensive per-pack-autograph product that was generally not worth your time or money. You also never know when you buy an autograph of a Minor Leaguer. It's like buying a lottery ticket.  

Here is my Chris Richard lottery ticket.  


Almost 5,000 copies sold for $5 each, but worth $2 on COMC.  

I'd have been better off buying an actual lottery ticket.  

Anyway, this was in 2000 and the Cardinals had Mark McGwire and later Will Clark. Chris Richard was traded to the Orioles for relief pitcher Mike Timlin. I got more Chris Richard cards all from packs. At the time I was not really excited about Chris Richard. He was a first baseman on the Orioles who could only hit 15 home runs in one of the best hitters parks in the league.  

"WHERE ARE THE ICHIRO ROOKIES??????" 


Would have likely been my reaction to pulling a Chris Richard Prospect card in 2001.  

Although, this is his Fleer Tradition card, so more likely.....

"HOW THE HELL DID THEY LEAVE ALBERT PUJOLS OFF THE CHECKLIST FOR THIS GUY?" 

I even got the short-printed, serial numbered Chris Richard cards, like this Fleer Focus.  


Fast forward a few years to 2007 and Chris Richard is a 4A player on the Durham Bulls. 

The 2006 season was a disaster for the Bulls, a rarity in these parts, in large part due to several younger, high-end prospects who go off the rails in every way imaginable. Delmon Young hits an umpire with a bat, BJ Upton thinks Triple A parks are beneath him and gets a DUI drinking with UNC students, and Elijah Dukes literally tries to strangle Ryan Knox while the team is waiting for their bus at a hotel. 

Chris Richard was 30 and going to provide a calming presence to the team. 

The Bulls finish first, Richard hits 14 home runs, and nothing crazy happens while the team is waiting for the bus. Success brought Richard back in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  He hit at least 20 home runs each of the three seasons and ended his Durham Bulls career with 84. A record that is unlikely to be broken soon.  

I have actually willingly collected Chris Richard cards since his stint in Durham.  

Love seeing him as a Durham Bull on baseball cards......


but there are not very many of them. 

Chris Richard still has some nice cards for a guy with a short Major League career.  


My favorite being his 2001 Topps Golden Anniversary Autograph, which is short-printed and a tough find.

6 comments:

  1. I had unrealistic expectations of him when the Orioles traded for him. I didn't quite become the supercollector of his cards that you've become, but I do have quite a few.

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    1. He definitely had some hype around him when he was in the Minors for the Cardinals. I cannot remember where he went to college, but I feel like it was one of the traditional powerhouse schools and he was a really good player.

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  2. Wasn't familiar with Mr. Richard (or that wild 2006 Bulls season) until reading this post. Very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. The 2006 Durham Bulls should have their own 30 for 30.

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  3. Given the teams long history, I would've thought that the HR record would've been higher than that. And this is the first time that I've heard of Royal Rookies. Just going by this one scan, it almost looks like the cards could've been homemade.

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    Replies
    1. I was surprised too, but some of the more long running players appeared for the Bulls in the 1930s and prior, meaning home runs were not common. The Royal Rookies cards look like they were designed, printed, and produced at a Kinko's work station. Just slightly better than homemade.

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