H. B. “Spec” Richardson was born in 1922 and died on April 12, 2016.
He served as the General Manager for the Houston Astros from 1967 until 1975.
Spece took over for Tal Smith and Paul Richards, each of whom built one of the most talented farm systems in baseball.
He traded 31-year-old Mike Cuellar to the Baltimore Orioles for Curt Blefary in 1968, when on to stay in Houston for a single season before being traded once again to the Yankees for Joe Pepitone.
However, Pepitone would only stay one year in the Astrodome before going to the Chicago Cubs.
Spec Richardson then traded Rusty Staub , a 24-year-old outfielder and first baseman who displayed remarkable ability to hit for high average and decent power (leading the league in doubles in 1967) within the confines of the cavernous Astrodome – to the Montreal Expos for Jesús Alou and Donn Clendenon.
And, Clendenon refused to report, however, and Montreal instead sent Jack Billingham, Skip Guinn, and cash.
Nonetheless, the club may have felt that Staub’s ankle problems would shorten his career, but Staub instead continued his exceptional hitting in Montreal, Detroit, and New York.
John Mayberry, another young first base prospect, was traded to the Kansas City Royals for mediocre bullpen help.
While he was there he became an integral part of the Royals.
Spec Richardson also served as general manager for the San Francisco Giants from 1976 to 1980.
Spec Richardson passed away at 93 yrs old.