Known as “Knucksie,” Phil Niekro baffled big league hitters for 24 seasons and was the most prolific knuckleballer in the history of the game. He came up with the Milwaukee Braves and moved with them to Atlanta (1964-83). The right hander also pitched for the New York Yankees (84’-85’), Cleveland Indians (86’-87’) and Toronto Blue Jays (1987) before finishing his career with one game as a Brave in 1987. He was a member of the 300-win club with a lifetime mark of 318-274, and struck out 3,342 batters while pitching 45 shutouts. He led the National League in ERA in 1967 with a mark of 1.87, strikeouts in 1977 and wins in 1974 & 1979. He was named to the NL All-Star pitching staff 5 times, and was a Gold Glove winner 5 times. His #35 was retired by the Braves in 1984 while he was still active, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997.
October 5, 2013
White Plains, NY