After 557 games in the minors, former Bells backstop Kevin Richardson finally got hit shot on the big stage. Richardson batted eighth in Texas’ lineup Monday in Arlington, Texas, and collected a pair of hits in his Major League debut as the Rangers defeated the Minnesota Twins 8-5.
Richardson struck out in his first at-bat against Francisco Liriano to end the first inning, but returned to the plate in the third and garnered his first Major League hit. The Twins replaced Liriano with Bob Keppel and Richardson collected the first of his two hits to lead off the third inning.
"Anytime you can get the first out of the way it's good," Richardson said during a post-game interview. "It was just a hit up the middle. As soon as it got past the pitcher, I knew it was going through. It was just a special feeling."
He again singled in the seventh inning and scored the Rangers’ final run of the contest on Elvis Andrus’ seventh triple of the season.
Richardson was called up on Saturday after catching Luis Mendoza’s no-hitter for the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League on Friday. Now in his 10th season playing professional baseball, Richardson earned the promotion after hitting 12 home runs and driving in 34 runs in 66 games.
The now-big league catcher is a native of Bellingham and played for the Bells in 2000 and briefly in 2002 before signing a free agent deal with the Rangers.
Richardson replaces Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the Rangers’ active roster after Saltalamacchia was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with right shoulder fatigue.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO WATCH RICHARDSON'S FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE HIT
The Bellingham Bells are a summer collegiate, wood bat baseball team and a member of the West Coast League. During the months of June, July & August, the Bells compete in a 57-game season, playing home games at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham and traveling to compete with other WCL teams in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. The Bells strive to contribute to a strong and vibrant community through affordable, family-friendly entertainment.