Braves legend Phil Niekro dies at age 81

ATLANTA — Legendary Atlanta Braves knuckleballer Phil Niekro died Saturday evening in his sleep following a long battle with cancer. He was 81. “We are heartbroken on the passing of our treasured friend, Phil Niekro,” the Braves said in a 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,…

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