Most athletes don’t get to decide when their playing days are over. The game, and father time, have a way of working that out.
That’s not the case for Long Beach Wilson High alum and Cal State Fullerton shortstop Timmy Richards. Despite being drafted by a second Major League Baseball team last month, Richards has decided to hang up the cleats and peruse other interests.
Richards, 22, helped CSUF beat the Long Beach State Dirtbags in the NCAA Super Regional at Blair Field last month, and was named to the All-Men’s College World Series team in Omaha where the Titans were eliminated on the first weekend. The Long Beach native led the Titans with four hits, two RBIs and three runs scored in the series, and said it felt like his career had come full circle.
“I’ve played a lot of games at Blair Field,” Richards said. “Winning that series felt like the perfect way to move on.”
Richards started playing baseball at four years old, and developed his game in the travel ball circuit. He started at shortstop for three years at Wilson, and four years at Fullerton. Richards said he can’t remember having more than a month away from baseball in the last eight years.
“Right now it’s still an adjustment for me waking up now without having baseball,” Richards said. “Growing up it was baseball all day every day. I was going to be a professional baseball player. Once I got to college I stared developing other interests, living on my own and figuring things out for myself.”
Richards graduated with a major in geography and wants to work in environmental sciences. He already has a Yosemite National Park hiking trip planned with family and friends for the end of this month.
Richards was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 18th round (543rd overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft, and was selected again by the Washington Nationals with the 733rd overall pick last month. However, he said that number didn’t come close to the number he set for himself that would’ve been high enough for him to return to the diamond.
Come back next week for the latest LB in MLB update with more on Richards, other MLB signings and the All-Star game.