The Yankees organization received bad news today. Former Yankee pitcher Phil Niekro passed away at age 81 after a battle with cancer. Niekro played in the MLB for 24 seasons. He was mostly known for his signature knuckleball.
Niekro played with the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Toronto Blue Jays. He started his career in 1964 and retired in 1987.
Phil Niekro played with the Yankees from 1984 to 1985. Niekro won 16 games in 1984 and made his fifth and final All-Star game appearance. He also recorded a 3.09 earned run average and struck out 136 batters.
1985 saw Phil Niekro enter the 300 win club. At age 46, he became the oldest player to throw a shutout in the major leagues. The record stood for 25 years until Jamie Moyer broke it in 2010. Stunningly, Niekro didn’t throw his trademark knuckleball until he faced the final hitter in Jeff Burroughs. To finish the season, Niekro recorded a 16-12 record.
Before the 1986 season started, the Yankees cut ties with Niekro.
In 1997, Phil Niekro was elected into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame with 80 percent of the vote.
Another career highlight of Niekro’s was throwing a no-hitter on August 5, 1973.
Niekro finished his career as a five-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time National League wins leader. His number 35 is retired by the Atlanta Braves.
Rest in peace to a legend.