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Phil Niekro Wik

Nicknamed “Knucksie” [1], he was an American baseball pitcher who played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), including 20 with the Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves. Niekro’s 318 career victories are the most by a knuckleball shooter and 16th on MLB’s all-time winning list. He has won the National League (NL) Golden Glove Award five times, has been selected to five All-Star teams, and has won the league twice and earned a running average. He played an important role in Braves’ winning only two league titles before 1991. Niekro was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. Phil and his younger brother Joe Niekro have amassed 539 wins between them, the most wins of any brothers in baseball history. Phil’s 121 career victories after the age of 40, a league record. Its longevity is attributed to its knuckleball, which is difficult to master but easy on the arm and stuns the shooters due to its unpredictable trajectory. Niekro remains the last MLB shooter to win and lose 20 or more matches in the same season. With the 1979 Braves [2], Niekro finished with 21 wins and 20 losses. This was his third and last 20 winning seasons and his second and last 20 defeats. [1] Phil and Joe Niekro were the NL’s co-leaders in the victories that season.  Braves said Niekro died in his sleep on Saturday night. He lived in Atlanta’s Flowery Branch suburb, where a high street bears his name. Niekro won 318 matches during his 24-year career and ended at the age of 48 in 1987 after making a final start with the Braves. He was known for a pitch that surprised shooters and catchers – damn, Niekro didn’t even know where he was going – he was a five-time All-Star with three 20 winning seasons with Atlanta.

Niekro also pitched for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays late in his career.

“We are heartbroken on the passing of our treasured friend,” the Braves said in a statement. “Knucksie was woven into the Braves fabric, first in Milwaukee and then in Atlanta. Phil baffled batters on the field and later was always the first to join in our community activities. It was during those community and fan activities where he would communicate with fans as if they were long lost friends

Phil Niekro Career

Niekro was born in Blaine, Ohio and grew up in Lansing, Ohio. He was of Polish origin. He attended Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Ohio, and was the childhood friend of Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek. The baseball field Bridgeport High School played at the Perkins Field sports complex was renamed “The Niekro Diamond” in 2008 after both Phil and his brother, major league pitcher Joe Niekro. The brothers were the sons of a coal miner ]who threw half-baseball and learned to knuckle from another coal miner. He later taught his sons the pitch in their backyard as a child. Furthermore, Phil played American Legion Baseball while growing up. [5] Niekro made a deal with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 for $ 250 ($ 2,193 in current dollars).  Over the next few years, he shot several other minor league teams at various levels and appeared mostly as a relief shooter. He was promoted to AAA Class Louisville Colonels for a short time in 1960, while he spent the remainder of the 1960 season throwing the field for the Jacksonville Braves. He spent the entire next season with AA Class Austin Senators. He returned to Louisville in 1962 and recorded a 9–6 win-loss record. He missed the 1963 season due to military service.

Later life and Cause Of  death

On December 26, 2020, Niekro died in his sleep. He was diagnosed with cancer

After the end of his professional baseball career, Niekro led the all-women Colorado Silver Bullets baseball team. Niekro taught his nephew Lance Niekro to throw a knuckleball after Lance’s unsuccessful missions as the first primary expectation to strike power with the San Francisco Giants. [20]

Niekro was named to the Hall of Fame in 1997, the fifth year of his eligibility. He was the only player selected that year; Tony Pérez and Don Sutton were among the key players not selected she. After being reported to him, Niekro said, “It’s impossible to give a description of today’s phone call. I was overwhelmed before. I didn’t prepare myself this year. I wouldn’t have been able to get myself that high.” A year ago Niekro had the most Hall of Fame games of all players on the ballot, but had not received the 75% required for the election. [21]

Niekro was a board member of Kiz Toys, a toy company based in Cumming, Georgia, and Niekro reviewed product designs and development and consulted the company on the KizSport baseball line. [22]

Coolray Field, home of Gwinnett Braves, has a restaurant called Niekro’s. It includes Knucksie Sandwich, which is made with barbecue and coleslaw on top of his favorite cornbread. Niekro and his family support Bridgeport High School students with the proceeds from the annual “The Niekro Classic” golf tournament. [23]

On December 26, 2020, Niekro died in his sleep. He was diagnosed with cancer

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