Richardson played every position on the field at one time or another but he was best known as one of the greatest second basemen of the 19th century. He was a member of the “Big Four,” a star infield for Buffalo’s NL team that also included first baseman Dan Brouthers, shortstop Jack Rowe, and third baseman Deacon White. When Buffalo dropped out of the NL after the 1885 season, the Detroit team paid $7,000, an astonishing sum at the time, for the entire Buffalo roster just to acquire the Big Four. Richardson hit .351 and led the NL in hits (189) and home runs (11) in 1886. The next season the Big Four led Detroit to the NL pennant, with Richardson contributing another 11 home runs, 94 RBI, and a .328 batting average.