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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Richard Witherspoon ran extra sprints at Elmira; Played three pro seasons, made high-A

The Elmira Pioneers were more open to running in 1989 and three Pioneers especially, including Richard Witherspoon and Bart Moore, looked to be ready, The Elmira Star-Gazette wrote.

"I just stretch more and make sure my quadriceps are loose," Moore told The Star-Gazette that June. "I run a couple more sprints than the other guys do before the game. (John) Spencer, (Richard) Witherspoon and I all do."

Witherspoon ran those extra sprints early that season, but he had few opportunities later. He played one more season after that, for three in all. He made high-A.

Witherspoon's career began in 1988, taken by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the draft out of Nogales High School in California. Witherspoon was also credited as Rich Witherspoon.

At Nogales, Witherspoon also played football. He took a November 1986 pass 65 yards for a touchdown

He started with the Red Sox in the rookie Arizona League. He saw 33 games and hit .274.

Witherspoon then moved to short-season Elmira for 1989, but he started the season, despite those extra sprints, less than 100 percent with a hairline fracture to his foot. He ultimately saw time in just nine games that year. He went 8 for 35.

Witherspoon then played 1990 between high-A Winter Haven and the rookie Gulf Coast League. He saw 45 games between them and hit .185. That season proved his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,917
Made the Majors:1,306-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,611-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:530
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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