Leaguer of the Month
Batted: Left; Threw: Left
Height: 5 ’-7”, Wt. 145
Born: December 15, 1928
Teams: Indianapolis Clowns, Augusta Tigers, Syracuse Chiefs, Durham Bulls, Orlando Flyers, Lancaster Red Roses, Idaho Falls Russets, Lloydminster-North Battleford Combines, Neilburg Monarchs
Ted Richardson was the Negro League’s version of the Philadelphia A’s Bobby Shantz: both were left-handed pitchers, both were about 5’-7” tall, both weighed about 140 pounds soaking wet, and both were stars!
Richardson was short and wiry, but he threw gas, and had a great sweeping curve which made him poison to left-handed batters.
In 1952, Richardson was one of the top pitchers in the Negro American League, going 12-5 with a 3.10 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 125 innings pitched.
In August, Richardson appeared in the East-West game, pitching well in relief, but did not get a decision (Bobby Shantz, by the way, went 24-7 in the Majors in ’52 and won the league MVP award).
Richardson spent the next few seasons with the Indianapolis Clowns on a pitching staff with Percy Smith, Clarence Turner, Ray Maddix, Dioniso Amaro, Angel Garcia, Willie Gaines and Frank Carswell. In ’53, female phenom Toni Stone played second base a few innings per game for the Clowns, the first woman in the Negro American League.
Richardson spent the ’55 season with the semi-pro St. Joseph Auscos which won the Michigan-Indiana League pennant, and in ‘56 Richardson was signed by the Detroit Tigers and spent 1956-58 in their Minor League system, going a combined 29-24 with a 2.80 ERA with several teams ranging from Class D to Class A; he was never promoted to the Majors. The Tigers, by the way, were the second to last Major League team to integrate, with Ozzie Virgil, Sr., breaking into the lineup in June of ’58.
Richardson, a weak batter, even for a pitcher, batted .155 in 181 minor league at bats, but he did hit one homer while with the Durham Bulls of the Carolina League.
In 1959, Richardson journeyed to Canada, joining the integrated Lloydminster-North Battleford Beavers of the semipro Canadian-American League. Richardson led the league in starts (18), went 9-7, and batted .204 with two homers, one that was estimated at well over 400 feet.
In 1960, Richardson returned to the Beavers, went 11-5 in league games with a 2.93 ERA, and led the league in wins and complete games (10).
Richardson started the '61 season with the Beavers, but jumped to the Neilburg Monarchs of the Northern Saskatchewan League in June and dominated the competition. His highlights included a game against the Biggar Acmes in which he had a no-hitter in the ninth and ended up with a two-hitter, a game against the North Battleford Beavers in which he relieved and got the win thanks to his own homer, and two great games against the Rosetown Macs--a two-hit shutout, and six-hitter with 12 strikeouts.
Richardson finished his career with the '62 Monarchs, pitching well in limited play.
*Some information from attheplate.com