The Hall of Fame of baseball announced the death of the American Phil Niekro, who was one of the oldest and most remembered pitchers in the sport. The one renowned for his signature knuckle ball died Saturday night at his residence at age 81 after battling cancer in recent years. The baseball player was chosen five times for the Game of stars.
The historic player had an extensive career that took place between 1964 and 1987, the ‘pitcher’ achieved 121 victories once he was over 40, a record in the Major Leagues. In addition, he added a total of 539 wins with Joe Niekro, the most for a pair of brothers in the competition. Niekro, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, pitched for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “Phil Niekro was one of the most distinctive and memorable pitchers of his generation,” adding that “in the last century, no pitcher pitched more than Phil’s 5,404 innings. His knuckle ball led him to five All-Star picks, three 20-win seasons for the Atlanta Braves, the 300-win club and eventually Cooperstown, ”he recalled.
Niekro learned his unique knuckle throw (knuckleball) from his father, a mining worker, and with it he managed to make the ball dance in such an unpredictable way that it baffled hitters. Manfred also said that: “But even more than his distinctive launch and the durability of his brand, Phil will be remembered as one of the coolest people in our game. He has always represented his sport extraordinarily well and will be greatly missed. ‘ Reported AFP.
The pitcher finished his career with a balance of 318 wins and 274 losses and an average of 3.35 wins. The one born in Blaine, USA, played for Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves between 1964-1983, New York Yankees between 1984-1985, Cleveland Indians (1986-1987), Toronto blue jays (1987) and Altanta Braves (1987) of the MLB where he retired from professional activity in September 1987.
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