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Monday, June 19, 2023

Rodney Richey proved a bulldog on the mound, made high-A; Later turned fighter, in court

Rodney Richey 1990 Durham Bulls card, Richey seen up close

Into his third season as a pro, Rodney Richey's manager at single-A Sumter, Ned Yost, spoke to The State in Columbia about his young closer.

Richey, Yost told The State, was a "bulldog."

"He's a bulldog out there," Yost told The State. "When you get him in that pressure situation with a save on the line, he is as tough as anybody."

Richey went on to see just one more pro season. He topped out at high-A. He's since used those bulldog tendencies elsewhere, however, in a long post-playing career as an attorney.

Richey's pro career began in 1987, taken by the Blue Jays in the 28th round of the draft out of South Carolina. Richey was also credited as Rod Richey.

At South Carolina, Richey spoke to The Columbia Record after returning from a finals layoff in May 1987 with improved pitching, after working with his teammates.

"I pitched against our hitters in the batting cages," Richey told The Record. "They were telling me where to start my curve ball off, where it was breaking. That helped me out, having my hitters telling me what my stuff was doing."

Richey started with the Blue Jays at short-season St. Catharines and rookie Medicine Hat. He saw 18 relief appearances and went 1-3, with a 3.00 ERA.

He moved to the Braves system and rookie Idaho Falls for 1988. He saw 17 relief outings there. For 1989, he played at single-A Sumter and single-A Durham. He saw 52 relief outings overall and went 3-4, with a 2.88 ERA. He also saved 22.

Richey returned to Durham for 1990. He saw 42 relief appearances. He went 7-1, with 10 saves and a 2.75 ERA to end his career.

Richey then went back to school. He finished his undergraduate work in 1992 and then got his law degree in 1995. He's since worked in personal injury and criminal law in South Carolina. 

"Rodney Richey believes that everyone deserves a FIGHTER to win their case!" his law firm bio reads. "He has been a fighting advocate for personal injury and criminal defendants since graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1995."

Rodney Richey 1990 Durham Bulls card, Richey seen up close

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,177
Made the Majors:1,376-32.9%
Never Made Majors:2,801-67.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:559
10+ Seasons in the Minors:343

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