- The immortal had been fighting cancer for several years
- He pitched 5,404 innings and was selected five times All-Star
Niekro learned to play knuckles with the help of his father, who taught his two sons, Phil and Joe, the pitch between shifts at the local coal mine.
Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro died at the age of 81.
Niekro passed away in his sleep on Saturday night. He had battled cancer for the past several years.
Niekro was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. The iconic Knuckles player scored 318 victories in a 24-year career that included stints with the Braves, Indians, Yankees and Blue Jays. He was a five-time All-Star who finished in the top six in the National League Cy Young Award voting five times from 69 to 82.