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 Abram Harding “Hardy” Richardson

Abram Harding “Hardy” Richardson

Clarksboro, Gloucester County, New Jersey, USA
Death 14 Jan 1931 (aged 75)
Utica, Oneida County, New York, USA
Burial Utica, Oneida County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 50958375 · View Source
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Professional baseball player 1879-1892. Pitcher and position player for the Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines, Boston Beaneaters, Boston Red Stockings, Washington Senators and the New York Giants.

Abram Harding "Hardy" Richardson , also known as "Hardie" and "Old True Blue", was an American professional baseball player whose career spanned from 1875 to 1892 with a brief minor league comeback in 1898. He played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, playing at every position, including 585 games at second base, 544 games in the outfield, and 178 games at third base. Richardson played for six major league teams, with his longest stretches having been for the Buffalo Bisons (1879–85), Detroit Wolverines (1886–88) and Boston Reds (1890–91).

Richardson appeared in 1,331 major league games, compiled a .299 batting average and .435 slugging percentage, and totaled 1,120 runs scored, 1,688 hits, 303 doubles, 126 triples, 70 home runs, 822 RBIs, and 377 bases on balls. From 1881 to 1888, he was part of the "Big Four", a group of renowned batters (the others being Dan Brouthers, Jack Rowe, and Deacon White) who played together in Buffalo and Detroit and led Detroit to the National League pennant and 1887 World Series championship.

Richardson was born in 1855 at Clarksboro, which is located in the existing municipality of East Greenwich Township, New Jersey. His father, Robert D. Richardson, was a New Jersey native who worked in 1870 as a house carpenter. His mother, Naomi (Jones) Richardson, was a Pennsylvania native.

Richardson began playing organized baseball with semipro teams in South Jersey and Philadelphia in the early 1870s. In 1875, he played at third base and catcher for the Gloucester City, New Jersey club.

For a portion of the 1876 season, he played with the Philadelphias, but that team disbanded in July 1876.[8][9] Richardson next played for the "Crickets" from Binghamton, New York, during the 1876 and 1877 seasons. In 1878, he played for the Utica, New York club in the International Association for Professional Base Ball Players. While playing for Utica, the New York Clipper called him the best fielding center fielder in baseball; he also won "The Clipper medal for best fielding average."

In his 14 years in major league baseball, Richardson appeared in 1,331 major league games, compiled a .299 batting average and .435 slugging percentage, and totaled 1,120 runs scored, 1,688 hits, 303 doubles, 126 triples, 70 home runs, 822 RBIs, and 377 bases on balls. His best season was 1886 when he led the National League in home runs and compiled a 7.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) rating, the fourth highest among all position players in the National League. His career WAR rating was 40.5.

In the 1894 Reach Guide to baseball, Jim Hart, who was Richardson's manager in 1889 with the Beaneaters, offered the following high opinion of Richardson: "I think Ed Williamson and Hardy Richardson would pretty nearly make a tie as to being the best ball player since professional base ball has existed." Baseball historian Bill James in 2001 ranked Richardson as the 39th-best second baseman in the history of baseball in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.

In January 1886, Richardson was married in a ceremony at Utica, New York, to Lillie M. Davis. In reporting on the wedding, The Sporting News wrote: "Mr. Richardson's fame as a ball player extends from Maine to California, and is only surpassed by his genial gentlemanly bearing and manner, which have earned for him the best wishes of innumerable friends for his future happiness." Richardson and his wife had a daughter, Dorothy, born in 1895. After retiring from baseball, Richardson reportedly operated a hotel in Utica, New York.

By 1900, he was living in Utica with his wife, Lillie, and their daughter, Dorothy, and he was employed as an "art glass stainer." By 1905, Richardson and his wife had moved to German Flatts and later to Ilion, both in Herkimer County, New York, where he worked for the Remington Typewriter Company. In late 1910 and early 1911, Richardson wrote about his baseball memories in a series of articles for the Hearst newspapers.
By 1930, Richardson was retired and living with his wife in Utica as boarders at the home of cement salesman, Robert C. Weaver. Richardson died in January 1931 at age 75 in Utica, New York. He was buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery in that city.

Richardson was referenced in a first-season episode of the HBO television series, Boardwalk Empire, in October 2010. The lead character, Nucky Thompson, portrayed by Steve Buscemi, noted that he had owned an autographed catcher's mitt signed by Hardy Richardson when he was a child. It was stolen from him by older, bigger kids. After his father made him fight four older boys to get it back, Nucky was beaten unconscious and spent 11 days in the hospital. (submitted by contributor Jay Goff)

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  • Created by: Carol Tessein
  • Added: 11 Apr 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 50958375
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Abram Harding “Hardy” Richardson (21 Apr 1855–14 Jan 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 50958375, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, Oneida County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Carol Tessein (contributor 46853728) .