Pete Richert's Orioles swept into the 1970 World Series. With the sweep, though, they didn't really celebrate. They hoped to do that after winning four more games.
"You'll see a celebration like you never saw before in your life if we win the World Series," the top Orioles reliever Richert told UPI after the team moved on. "The World Series is what we want."
The Orioles eventually beat the Reds 4 games to 3, coming back from a 1969 series defeat to the Mets. In that previous year's series, Rickert ended up in the middle of a pivotal play, one that ultimately sent the Mets to an insurmountable 3-1 series lead.
Richert returned to the World Series that year in his 10th major league season. A strikeout pitcher, he went on to make it back to the series with the Orioles in 1971. By the time his career was over, he had 13 seasons in the books and 925 total strikeouts.
His career over, Richert eventually returned to the minor leagues, getting lengthy time as a pitching coach from high-A to AAA.
Richert's long career in baseball began in 1958, signed by the Dodgers as a free agent out of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, NY.
Richert started at Class-C Reno. He made AA Atlanta in 1960, then AAA Spokane in 1961. In 1962, Richert made Los Angeles.
Richert got 19 outings, 12 starts, for the Dodgers in 1962. He also opened his career by striking out the first six batters he faced. He returned for 20 more outings in 1963 and eight in 1964. For 1965, Richert was trade to Washington, and he became a major league regular.
With the Senators in 1965, Richert went 15-12, with a 2.60 ERA. He also struck out 161. In 1966, he was as good. He went 14-14, with a 3.37 ERA. He also struck out 195. He made the All-Star team both seasons.
In June 1966, Richert battled for the league strike out lead. He told The Associated Press he hadn't thought of himself along side other strikeout pitchers. "I guess I'm going to have to now," Richert told The AP.
Richert moved to the Orioles in mid-1967 in another trade. He also soon moved to relief work. He got into 36 relief outings, with a 3.47 ERA. In 1969, he got 44 outings and a 2.20 ERA. He also helped the Orioles to the World Series.
In the World Series, Richert only saw time in Game 4. Called on in the 10th inning of the tie game, Richert's job was to give his Orioles another shot at tying the series at two.
With nobody out and two on, Richert fielded a bunt and threw it to first. His throw hit the runner, and the winning run scored. There was a dispute, though, about where in the base path the runner was. An AP photo seemed to prove he was inside the base line. The Orioles lost the game and the series.
Richert had an even better year in 1970, posting a 1.98 ERA. He continued playing in the majors through 1974, finishing out by returning to the Dodgers and then playing for Philadelphia and St. Louis.
By 1989, Richert was a coach in the minors. He served as pitching coach at single-A Modesto. He stayed with the team through 1994. He moved to AAA Edmonton in 1995. He then stayed at AAA through 2001, his last recorded year as a coach. He never made the majors as a coach.
In 1999. Richert watched over Athletics prospect Tim Hudson at AAA Vancouver. He also liked what he saw, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
"The kid is unbelievable," Richert told The Chronicle. "He's got great action on the ball, he keeps the ball down and everything moves -- and he's a great kid. He battles and fights. Oh yeah, Tim could pitch at the next level -- he's done what he can do here."
- Toledo Blade, June 1, 1966: Richert Convinces Self
- St. Petersburg Independent, Associated Press, Oct. 16, 1969: Will Photo Change Things?
- Lexington Dispatch, UPI, Oct. 5, 1970: Orioles Await Series After Pennant Sweep
- San Francisco Chronicle, June 8, 1999: A's Drop Candiotti, Pin Hope on Hudson
Made the Majors: 757 - 49.3%
Never Made Majors: 777-50.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 329
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 194