HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Hall of Fame pitcher Phil...

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 01:13 PM

Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, famous for signature knuckleball, dies at 81

Source: ESPN

Phil Niekro, a pitcher who used his signature knuckleball to fool generations of hitters as well as craft a Hall of Fame career, died Saturday night in his sleep after a long battle with cancer, the Atlanta Braves announced Sunday. He was 81.

Niekro, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, was one of baseball's most prolific and durable pitchers, using his "butterfly" pitch to win 318 games in a career that spanned 24 seasons, 20 of those years with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves.

"We are heartbroken on the passing of our treasured friend, Phil Niekro," said the Braves in a prepared statement. "Knucksie was woven into the Braves fabric, first in Milwaukee and then in Atlanta. Phil baffled batters on the field and later was always the first to join in our community activities. It was during those community and fan activities where he would communicate with fans as if they were long lost friends.

"He was a constant presence over the years, in our clubhouse, our alumni activities and throughout Braves Country and we will forever be grateful for having him be such an important part of our organization.

Read more: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30605849/hall-fame-pitcher-phil-niekro-famous-signature-knuckleball-dies-81



RIP!

14 replies, 1848 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, famous for signature knuckleball, dies at 81 (Original post)
Polybius Dec 2020 OP
cojoel Dec 2020 #1
Journeyman Dec 2020 #2
mobeau69 Dec 2020 #3
underpants Dec 2020 #4
gademocrat7 Dec 2020 #5
Jeebo Dec 2020 #6
VA_Jill Dec 2020 #7
BeyondGeography Dec 2020 #8
Brother Buzz Dec 2020 #9
pecosbob Dec 2020 #10
ProfessorGAC Dec 2020 #11
Brother Buzz Dec 2020 #12
ProfessorGAC Dec 2020 #13
twodogsbarking Dec 2020 #14

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 01:45 PM

1. Applicable quote from Richie Hebner

"Hitting Niekro's knuckleball is like eating soup with a fork."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 01:51 PM

2. Former Brave's catcher Bob Uecker knew how to catch Niekro's knuckleball . . .

"You wait'll it stops rolling, then go pick it up."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Journeyman (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 01:54 PM

3. Good one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Journeyman (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 02:12 PM

4. Very funny

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 02:18 PM

5. Rest In Peace, Knucksie

He was a favorite here in Atlanta.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 02:19 PM

6. Phil Niekro pitched a no-hitter in 1973, and I was there.

It was Sunday, August 5, 1973. The Braves blanked the San Diego Padres at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium 9-0. I was so thrilled that I actually got to witness a no-no. Years later I started playing those lottery numbers. 1-3-5-7-8-19. 1 for Sunday, the first day of the week. 3 for the 3 in 1973. 5 for the fifth day of the month. 7 for the 7 in 1973. 8 for August, the eighth month. 19 for the 19 in 1973. I've been keeping those numbers covered in every drawing of the Missouri Lotto for 30 years now. One of these days they'll hit.

-- Ron

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 02:34 PM

7. RIP, Knucksie

I wish I could remember all the jokes from Skip Caray and Ernie...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 04:01 PM

8. He spent some time with the Yanks when the Braves screwed up and let him go

Then again, he was 45 years old. He looked almost grandfatherly on the mound. But when the knuckler was working, which, as you can tell from his 84-85 stats, was still quite often, he was in charge. And he always got the most out his stuff. When he’d get down in the count and be forced throw his 80-something “fastball,” he’d quick-pitch it a little bit and the ball would be perfectly located. Guts and guile all the way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 05:59 PM

9. Trying to hit Phil Niekro is like trying to eat jello with chopsticks.



Sometimes you get a piece but most of the time you get hungry." - Bobby Murcer

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 05:59 PM

10. I watched him throw more games than I can remember

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 06:02 PM

11. Bye, Phil

Guy could pitch for 48 hours straight if he had to.
For those baseball folks digging the knuckler, there is fun documentary called Knuckleball from 2012.
Phil is in it talking with Tim Wakefield.
I recommend it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 06:27 PM

12. Was Jim Bouton in it?

Jim started focusing on the Knuckleball with the Portland Mavericks after he was blackballed from MLB for writing 'Ball Four'.


Here's Jim Bouton on Johnny Carson. It's a wonderfully amusing interview, and he discusses how he learned the knuckelbal from a cereal box (he learned the three finger grip) (around 5:40)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 06:36 PM

13. Yes, A Little

Among the old pitchers, there's much more with Phil & Charlie Hough.
Wakefield & Dickey are the guys still playing in that movie's filming year.
There's one whole segment with Dickey & Phil doing a conversation. Probably 10-12 minutes of the movie.
There's a lot on Wakefield pursuing his 200th win, to become the only guy with 200 wins & more than 200 saves.
It's a very fun movie if you're into baseball.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Original post)

Mon Dec 28, 2020, 06:43 AM

14. His brother Joe played in the majors

and Joe's son did too. For those who may not know a knuckleball doesn't spin and it looks wild coming at you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread