Move to Yankees showed Niekro had plenty of pitches remaining
But some of Niekro’s most memorable moments still lay ahead.
“I don’t think anybody in their right mind could have turned this down,” Niekro told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m happy. The Yankees are happy. They have a contenting club, and they’re paying me a whale of a compliment.
“I’ve never seen Yankee Stadium. I’ve never pitched in Fenway Park. It should be a fun experience.”
Niekro finished his career with a record of 318-274 with a 3.35 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997.
“I still say the mound is 60 feet, six inches from the plate,” Niekro said on the day he signed with the Yankees. “You still have a home plate, a backstop, nine men on the field. You still get four balls and three strikes. The game doesn’t change, the show goes on.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum