Who is Phil Niekro? Phil Niekro Bio/Wiki
Philip Henry Niekro nicknamed Knucksie is best known as Phil Niekro, was an American baseball pitcher who played with the Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves for 24 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), 20 of them. He was born on April 1, 1939, in Blaine, Ohio.
The 318 career victories of Niekro are the most by a knuckleball pitcher and rank 16th on the all-time wins list of MLB.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 27, 2020
He was 81 years old.
He won the National League (NL) Gold Glove Award five times, was selected for five All-Star teams, and led the league in victories twice, an earned run average once. He was a key contributor to the Braves winning their only two division titles before 1991. Niekro was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.
In the same season, Niekro remains the only MLB pitcher to have both won and lost 20 or more games. Niekro finished with 21 wins and 20 losses with the 1979 Braves. This was his third and final season of 20 wins and his second and final season of 20 defeats. Phil and Joe Niekro were NL co-leaders in wins that season.
Niekro was the league leader in complete games, innings pitched and batters faced between 1977 and 1979. The 40-year-old Niekro led the league in both victories (21) and defeats in 1979 (20). In both 1978 and 1979, he finished sixth in the Cy Young Award vote and made his third All-Star appearance in 1978, as well as receiving three straight gold glove awards from 1978 to 1980.
Niekro was a member of the board of directors for Kiz Toys, a toy company based in Cumming, Georgia, and Niekro advised the company on the baseball line of KizSport, evaluating and designing product designs.
Niekro passed away in his sleep on December 26, 2020. He was diagnosed as having cancer. In an announcement Sunday, The Hall said that Niekro died overnight.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) December 27, 2020
(1 of 3) My first #Braves pitching hero has died at the age of 81. #PhilNiekro racked up some AMAZING stats, usually for subpar Braves teams. Look it up. He started 40-45 games a year, pitching deep into games. Even when his knuckler wasn’t working, he was a fierce competitor. pic.twitter.com/L4kTh0d1rJ
— David Carroll (@DAVIDCARROLL3) December 27, 2020
— Kirby’s Mart (@kirbyssmart) December 27, 2020
— Jennyv♥️ 🇺🇸♥️ (@VincentJenny) December 27, 2020
We mourn the passing of Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, a 5-time All-Star and 5-time Gold Glove winner. He was 81. pic.twitter.com/WMs9wXDBm5
— MLB (@MLB) December 27, 2020