Remembering Elliot Richoux

By: Doug Sarant
| Published 07/06/2014


UPDATE: The Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, July 9, at 3 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church, located at 5000 College Park Drive. In lieu of flowers, The Elliot Richoux Foundation is being set up for underprivileged children to play baseball. The link to the foundation's website is provided below.

7th Heaven is a place of extreme bliss.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas - It is with great sadness that I am writing about another one of our community's awesome young people dying entirely too young.

Elliot Richoux: July 20, 1992-July 4, 2014.

The dates above indicate that we lost Elliot after just 21 years. Although we may believe 21 years is much too short of a life, those who knew Elliot's zest for life will tell you that, included in those 21 years, was 100 years of excitement on and off the baseball field.

Many in the community are well aware of how great a baseball player Elliot was. At The Woodlands High School he earned three varsity letters. A player must be exceptional to even get a sniff playing varsity in 10th grade for the Highlanders. As a senior, Richoux batted .500 with 10 doubles, 12 home runs, 40 RBI and a .951 slugging percentage that earned him second team all-state, first team all-district (catcher) and first team all-region (first base). He also received All-Houston honors as a designated hitter. He was also all-state as a junior, hitting 10 balls into lunar orbit.

At Howard Junior College, Elliot had a monster year making All American while batting .413 with 57 runs scored, 14 doubles, five triples, seven round trippers and 61 RBI. His on-base percentage was a sky high .502 to go along with an outstanding slugging percentage of .683.

The D-1 college scouts took notice, and a feeding frenzy ensued as college baseball programs everywhere wanted to see Elliot leave Howard to play at their school. Texas Tech won the battle and Elliot was Lubbock bound for his sophomore year.

Before high school, I was fortunate enough to see Elliot play select baseball for various organizations. He was a special player long before high school and had an "edge" when he played. The best players all have an edge and Elliot was at the top of that list. If you were on his team you knew you were probably going to win. You loved it when he played on your team. Of course, if he was playing against you, you knew he was going to give 100% in an effort to win. When Elliot was in the batters box, he never had a doubt that something productive was about to happen.

We all see several players who play with an edge. Most of the time, that edge doesn't stop on the baseball field. It carries over to a player's social life which can get pretty ugly. With Elliot, you knew when he was off the baseball field the edge was gone, and it was time for fun as he did not allow his talents on the baseball field go to his head.

Of the many qualities Elliot possessed, his best one was his desire to make sure that those around him were all having fun. If there was a person being picked on, he was right there sticking up for them. His caring switch was always in the "on" position.

When Elliot was 14, he played for the 2007 USSSA Texas State Champion The Woodlands Legends and was quite instrumental in the team's success. Coach Dom Sylvester had this to say about his former player:

"Elliot was a special talent, even at age 14. His baseball skills were superior to most kids that age. The "Big E" was the straw that stirred the drink. He had Swag before most people knew what Swag was. We worked on tempering it, but in no way did I discourage it. That was Elliot. He was clutch and it seemed like he always came through with the game on the line. I loved watching him play and I felt privileged to have him on our team. Elliot was quite the character and the more you got to know him, the more you got to like him. As the years passed, I was his biggest fan and was so proud of all he achieved playing baseball. It is with heartfelt sadness that I write this and I will cherish the memories of Elliot forever. Godspeed, Elliot. R.I.P."

You would think a person with Elliot's personality would have a ton of friends, and you'd be right. A quote book as big as the Encyclopedia Britannica could be filled with quotes from all of the friends Elliot had. Unfortunately, we can't include them all. However, childhood friend, Matt Morris did his best to represent:

"I don't know what to say. I haven't seen you in a year. I've been looking forward to seeing you this summer. I love you, man. Me and you were brothers. I haven't seen you in a while but that will never change. I envied your pop at the plate. You deserved so much better and I'm in awe right now. You were my idol in baseball. You taught me so much and I thought one day I'd have a chance to repay it. I can't believe you're gone. All those days we spent fishing together I'd give anything to go back. You were even a better angler than me and I can't wait to see you again. Someday, we will see each other again and you will show me up with your 15lb bass while I'm stuck with some little fish not worth the bait I paid for it. One of the funniest things I remember is how you'd buy a six-pack of hot dogs and let them mildew for a year and then go fishing with them. I miss those days. I'll always miss you buddy. I'll be praying to you, my friend. I love you man. Ill see you again one day with your nasty hot dogs! I miss you."

The Woodlands baseball coach, Ron Eastman, was quoted as saying Elliot was a fine young man with a great sense of humor and that people enjoyed being around him.

Texas Tech baseball coach, Tim Tadlock expressed how everyone in the Texas Tech baseball community are extremely saddened and offered condolences to Elliot's mother, Deborah, and father, David.

Elliot's mother, Deborah Richoux-Hamm was not up to commenting but expressed that in lieu of flowers, please send donations of baseball equipment to underprivileged kids who want to play baseball.

Although this is a time of mourning, you will all agree that Elliot would insist on us celebrating his life at his funeral and the tears people shed be tears of joy, not sadness.

Many years from now, can't you just see Elliot at the gates of heaven when his mom and dad arrive? He'll be like..."Where have you been? I was thinking you'd have made it here long before me. You're not late though because I have a game at 7(th) Heaven and you can watch me play again. It's great to see you."

Needless to say, Elliot will have gone 4-4 with three bombs.

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