“I think every pitcher fools around with one. As the crew looked over Niekro, umpire Steve Palermo noticed a small emery board and some sandpaper dropping out of the right-hander’s hand. Explanation of Similarity Scores; Transactions. Then came the sophomore jinx. Niekro’s stellar pitching continued in the NLCS.

But Niekro, who pitched for the Braves, Yankees, Indians and Blue Jays for 24 seasons, was more than simply durable. Note, this is done in an automated way, so we apologize for any errors, & please report any suggested corrections. I’m reminded of Niekro’s intensity, and his professionalism, when I think about the fantasy camp that the Hall of Fame used to stage back in the early 2000s. He won 12, lost 13, and posted an ERA a tick over 4.00. On Aug. 3, 1987, the Twins went with veteran knuckleballer Joe Niekro on the mound on the road against the California Angels. That winter, they packaged Niekro with utility infielder Dave Campbell, sending them to the Detroit Tigers for 28-year-old Pat Dobson. So he recommended a trade to another team. Yet, Niekro won more games (144) as a member of the Astros than any of those titans, giving him a franchise record that has not been matched. Joe’s dancing knuckleball baffled hitters all year as he surrendered just 224 base hits in 270 innings of work. Back in 2006, Niekro took part in that fantasy camp, assisting his brother Phil, a member of the Hall of Fame. And I’ve had games where I’ve pitched where there’s been a baseball that’s had some marks on it.” Asked how the marks got there, Niekro replied, “The ball hitting the ground, hitting AstroTurf.” Niekro had a record career of 221 victories and 204 defeats. Those early years offered only momentary glimpses of Niekro’s future success. While serving his suspension, Niekro appeared on “Late Night With David Letterman,” coming onstage with a power sander and a carpenter’s apron containing Vaseline, emery boards, sandpaper, a nail file, and fingernail and toenail clippers. On Aug. 5, 1973, Niekro pitched a no-hitter against the Padres. quoted Niekro as saying. On Jan. 6, 1997, Phil Niekro was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.Four years apart, Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan, two of baseball’s best pitchers, gained entry into the 3,000 strikeout club, each accomplishing the feat on Independence Day. Joe hit one major league home run, that coming off brother Phil in 1976.

On a staff with a clear-cut ace in Mickey Lolich, Niekro became the No. Joe Niekro Stats. The final day of the season did bring some fun, however. With the evidence now on the ground, home plate umpire Tim Tschida ejected Niekro; a 10-game suspension from league president Bobby Brown soon followed.
Niekro set a personal best in ERA in 1982 when he went 17-12 with a 2.47 ERA. " On this day in 1987, Twins knuckleballer Joe Niekro was ejected after umpires determined he was trying to scuff balls, presumably to give his signature pitch a bit more movement. (Doug McWilliams/National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)Joe Niekro spent the majority of his professional baseball career pitching for the Houston Astros, from 1975-85. He would spent most of the summer in the bullpen before receiving a string of starts in August, but failed to find a niche in either role. Niekro pitched decently for the new franchise, but toiling for an expansion club did little for his won/loss record. He had a 21-11 record in 1979 with the Astros, tying his brother Phil of the Braves (21-20) for the most victories by an N.L. From 1977 to 1984, Niekro enjoyed the peak of his Astros tenure. It was in the 1987 season that Joe added another gem to his collection: A World Championship ring won with the Minnesota Twins for his outstanding efforts. In 1979, Niekro fared so well that he made his first All-Star team, won the In 1980, Niekro once again reached the 20-win milestone. After that camp concluded, Niekro returned to his Florida home.Only three weeks later, Niekro came down with a severe headache and chest pains. “Catching Niekro’s knuckleball was great. Niekro returned to the minor leagues in 1973.

They all sit behind home plate.
Similarity Scores. A number of other players from the camp also participated, telling stories and answering questions from the audience. After a two-year stint with the Silver Bullets, Niekro took on another unconventional project: teaching the knuckleball to a young girl named Chelsea Baker, who would go on to throw a pair of perfect games in Little League.Niekro also appeared regularly at golf outings and fantasy camps, including the one at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. (Roy Oswalt, at 143 wins, would fall just short of the Niekro standard. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)Joe Niekro (far left) is pictured with his brother, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro (far right) and their grandparents and mother. Although he was pushing forty in the mid 1980s, Houston gave the ball to Joe regularly with confidence. Whenever we hear that someone we just saw a few days or weeks earlier has died, it always hits a bit harder. Phil Niekro finished his career with five All-Star Game selections, five Gold Glove Awards and 716 games started, which ranks No. “Dad was the best athlete in the family,” Joe Niekro told The Washington Post in 1987. The overriding theme of Joe’s comments involved his sincere love and admiration for his Hall of Fame brother. Niekro became a workhorse, logging over 210 innings and struck out over 100 batters for the first time in his career, but pitched inconsistently. It was in the 1987 season that Joe added another gem to his collection: A World Championship ring won with the Minnesota Twins for his outstanding efforts. And then in 1977, Astros manager Bill Virdon gave Niekro an expanded role. He hit one home run in his major league career, and it came off Phil, when Joe was pitching for the Astros and Phil for the Braves.

In response to the sudden and unforeseen tragedy, Niekro’s daughter Natalie started the Joe Niekro Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and treatment in the fight against brain aneurysm, hemorrhagic strokes, and AVMs (arteriovenous malformations). No, I always remember him for what he revealed to us in Cooperstown during that Hall of Fame fantasy camp in 2006.