One of the most successful knuckleball pitchers of all time, he won 221 games with seven different teams throughout his 22-year career. He primarily played for the Houston Astros from 1975 until 1985.
He starred at West Liberty University as a fastball pitcher before becoming well known for his famous knuckleball.
He was once named Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News but never won the Cy Young Award.
His brother Phil won 318 games in the majors. He died from a brain aneurysm. His daughter Natalie would create The Joe Niekro Foundation in his honor.
He pitched in his only World Series game in 1987 alongside teammate and Hall of Fame center fielder Kirby Puckett.