Jim Richards, longtime AP sports freelance writer, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jim Richards, a veteran freelance writer who covered the Los Angeles Angels at spring training for The Associated Press, has died. He was 57.

He died in his sleep on Aug. 17 at his home in Buckeye, Arizona, of undetermined causes, according to his sister Noreen Richards. He was buried Monday in Johnston City, Illinois.

Richards covered the Angels at their spring training home in Tempe for the AP for nearly 20 years, writing game and feature stories. He freelanced for newspapers in Arizona, Illinois and Texas during his career, covering high school, college and professional sports.

He worked as an official scorer for minor league baseball's Arizona League for 17 years. Richards' other passion was music. He was a self-taught keytar player and an avid Beatles fan who created and managed an online chat room dedicated to the band.

He moved to Arizona from his hometown of Chicago in 1989. He graduated from Arizona State in 1992 with a degree in broadcasting and political science.

Besides his sister, he is survived by his father Herbert and brother Michael.