A superlative volleyer, Richards won the National Boys Outdoor Singles Tournament in 1917. He became a protégé of Bill Tilden after being defeated by the older man in a match, and teamed up with him to win the United States doubles championship in 1918 at the age of 15. He remains the youngest male to have ever won a major championship. Twenty-seven years later, in 1945, he and Tilden won the United States Pro doubles title.
Richards was one of the best singles players of the 1920s and played on several United States Davis Cup teams. In 1927 he was the first prominent male player to turn professional. The following year, in 1928, he was still generally considered to be one of the top 5 or 6 players in the world and played a brief tour at the end of the year against another new professional, the hitherto virtually unknown Czech player Karel Koželuh. In spite of a number of close matches, Richards could only beat Koželuh 5 times while losing 15. In 1929 Richards won 2 out of 7 matches against Koželuh and in 1930 2 out of 6. At the end of 1930 he then announced his retirement from professional tennis. At the time, he had won the United States Pro Championship three times, in 1927, 1928, and 1930, beating Koželuh in the finals in both 1928 and 1930, while losing to him in the 1929 finals. He later came out of retirement and won the Pro Championship once again in 1933, this time beating Frank Hunter.
Richards was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1959.
Seldom-told tale of Robinson's spring of '46: On March 4, 1946, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier by reporting to the Montreal Royals' training camp in Sanford. Two days later, he was run.
Mar 04, 2006; Byline: Andrew Carter Mar. 4--SANFORD -- The lead story on the sports page in the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday, March 5, 1946, is...