Braves great Phil Niekro dies at 81 after cancer battle

ATLANTA (AP) – One of the greatest knuckleball pitchers in major league history has died.

The Atlanta Braves have announced that Phil Niekro has died at 81 following a battle with cancer.

Niekro won 318 games over his 24-year career, which ended in 1987 at age 48 after he made one final start with the Braves. The right-hander was a five-time All-Star who had three 20-win seasons with Atlanta. Incredibly, he had 121 wins after his 40th birthday.

Niekro also pitched for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays late in his career.

Niekro joined Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan and Tom Seaver as Hall of Famers who have died this year.

Categories: Major League Baseball, Sports, Sports – ATL Braves, Sports – Local Sports News