Posts Tagged ‘Phil Niekro



The Knuckle Ball

Trailer Choir, Chuck Wicks and Keith Anderson...Playing for a Cause

Country Music Superstars Trailer Choir, Chuck Wicks and Keith Anderson have teamed up with The Joe Niekro Foundation for a weekend of festivities in Houston, TX, April 27th and 28th.  It’s all in celebration of the 3rd Annual Knuckle Ball…A Pitch for Life, with proceeds benefitting brain aneurysm research, treatment and education.

Friday, April 27th will kick things off at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar with a special acoustic, in the round performance, beginning at 8P.   Patrons will hear hits like Rockin’ the Beer Gutt, Off the Hillbilly Hook and Shakin’ that Tailgate from Trailer Choir, Stealing Cinderella, All I Ever Wanted and Old School from Chuck Wicks, and Every Time I Hear Your Name, Pickin’ Wildflowers and Lost In This Moment from Keith Anderson.  These hits plus many more will fill the stage and make country music memories, while attendees experience an up close and personal view of these country megastars.

The festivities continue at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, April 28th as the entertainers will be joined by athletes from across the country at the 3rd Annual Knuckle Ball…A Pitch for Life, as they pay tribute to the beloved 13-year Houston Astros All-Star,  Joe Niekro.  At the peak of his Major League Baseball pitching career, Joe Niekro was famous for his command of the knuckleball, a baseball pitch with an erratic, unpredictable motion. Like a knuckleball, Niekro’s life took an unpredictable path on October 27, 2006, when he died suddenly from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Niekro served 22 years in the Major Leagues, 13 of those with the Houston Astros.  He became the team’s first 20-game winner, and remains the all-time leader in wins among Astros pitchers.  Teaming up with his brother, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, the two combined for 539 wins over their respective careers making them the most successful brother combination in Major League history.

In honor of his memory, daughter Natalie Niekro created The Joe Niekro Foundation, with a mission to raise funds for brain aneurysm research, treatment and help bring public awareness to this devastating condition affecting as many as 1 in 15 people.

A number of Astros players, along with former MLB, NFL and NBA Stars, will be on hand at the black-tie gala, featuring a reception, formal dinner, silent and live auction (for a list of previous attendees, click here).  Joe’s brother and Hall of Fame pitcher, Phil Niekro will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, with a special presentation of The 2012 Joe Niekro Humanitarian Award to Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner and current Chairman of the Board of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, J. Kent Friedman.

We invite you to join us for a weekend of fun as we raise money for a condition that is killing thousands every year. For tickets and more information on both events and The Joe Niekro Foundation, visit

April 27th – 8P – Country Music Concert

Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th St. Houston, TX 77009

Tickets: $75

April 28th – 6:36P – Knuckle Ball…A Pitch for Life (Joe Niekro’s #36 symbolizes the start time)

Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford Street, Houston, Texas 77002

Tickets: Individual Tickets start at $336, with table sponsorships ranging from $5,036-$25,036.


Brain Aneursym Awareness Night Turner Field…A Survivor’s Success!

Natalie and Phil Niekro accompanied by several Brain Aneurysm Survivors for a special pre-game ceremony.

On July 16th, The Atlanta Braves honored one of baseball’s most renowned pitchers and former Atlanta Braves Knuckleballer, Joe Niekro.  Niekro spent 22 years in the major leagues, notching 221 wins and still holds the record, with his brother Phil, of the most successful brother combination in major league history, with 539 wins.  On October 27, 2006, Joe passed away from a sudden brain aneurysm.  Today, his legacy lives on through the Joe Niekro Foundation, committed to the awareness and funding for aneurysm research and treatment.  To honor this knuckleball legend, The Atlanta Braves hosted “Brain Aneurysm Awareness Night” at Turner Field on July 16, 2011.  President and Founder of The Joe Niekro Foundation, Joe’s daughter, Natalie and Joe’s brother, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro were joined by over 50 aneurysm survivors from the Atlanta area and medical professionals from Emory Hospital for a special pre-game on field ceremony.  From the times the gates opened to game time, fans visited The Joe Niekro Foundation booth in Monument Grove where they received a Wanna Get Lucky?t-shirt and autograph from Phil Niekro for a minimum donation of $20.

Phil Niekro Signing a Wanna Get Lucky? shirt for a very happy fan

Wanna Get Lucky? is the foundation’s national awareness initiative campaign to educate people on the importance of early detection.  In addition, throughout the game, fans were encouraged to participate in a “Text to Give” campaign by texting the word Strikeout to 20222.  By doing so the texter was making a $10 donation to The Joe Niekro Foundation.  Natalie and foundation volunteers sold Wanna Get Lucky? shirts throughout the game, plus gave text donors a commemorative Wanna Get Lucky? stress ball as a thank you for their support.  We are pleased to report that Brain Aneurysm Awareness Night was a great success for The Joe Niekro Foundation and we thank everyone for their tremendous support.

Click here to watch the video shown at Turner Field prior to the on-field ceremony.



On July 16th, The Joe Niekro Foundation will be hosting Brain Aneurysm Awareness Night at Turner Field in Atlanta, GA. To help promote the evening, we are offering the first 50 aneurysm survivors to respond, 2 tickets to the July 16th Braves vs Nationals “Brain Aneurysm Awareness Night” game.  Natalie Niekro, founder of the Foundation, and Phil Niekro (former HOF Braves pitcher) will present the pre-game ceremony and run the festivities for the evening.  Periodically throughout the evening, they will highlight information about detection and treatment of brain aneurysms as well as the need for much more research for brain aneurysms.  Survivors will be asked to join Natalie and Phil on the field for the pre-game ceremony which will feature the Brain Aneurysm Awareness Initiative and the life of Joe Niekro.  Be one of the first to respond and you will receive 2 tickets to the game, plus a Wanna Get Lucky? shirt that you will wear to the game.  Phil and Natalie Niekro will be in Monument Grove (just outside the main gates) before the game with Wanna Get Lucky? shirts on hand.  Make a $20 donation and you will receive a Wanna Get Lucky Shirt that Phil Niekro will personally autograph for you.

The Atlanta Braves and The Joe Niekro Foundation look forward to taking you out to the Ball Game!  For tickets and more information, contact

Help support the importance of early detection and get your Wanna Get Lucky? shirt today


A Week with The Legends

Grab your glove and dust off those cleats…Legends Fantasy Camp is hitting the streets.  The Joe Niekro Foundation brings you a baseball camp unlike any other.  Learn the subtle nuances of the game from four Hall of Fame greats and six former major leaguers, as you experience five fun filled days in the city that never sleeps…Las Vegas, Nevada. Its baseball by day and blackjack by night as you play America’s favorite pastime with some of the game’s greatest legends. 

 We’re looking for a select group to be a part of this Legends experience, managed by Hall of Fame greats; George Brett, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry and Ozzie Smith. Legends Fantasy Camp features three days of baseball, including tryouts and team selection, plus an 18 hole golf scramble tournament.  Cashman Field, home of the AAA Toronto Blue Jays, is where our campers will find their own locker, complete with customized home and away uniforms, plus all the extras they need for the week…and a few surprises along the way.  It is here where our lucky players will discover what happens both on…and off the field. 

Campers will be hosted at a luxurious Vegas Hotel and Casino, September 25-30, where they will be treated like royalty, enjoying a lavish welcome reception, daily group breakfast and lunch, discounted spa services and full use of the fitness center…just in case the daily grind at  the field isn’t enough of a workout.  Wednesday, September 28th, it’s a day on the links as campers will swing their golf clubs instead of their baseball bats and tee it up at the beautiful Siena Golf Resort.

The Joe Niekro Foundation was founded by Joe’s daughter Natalie when Joe lost his life unexpectedly to a cerebral aneurysm. The foundation is committed to the awareness and funding for brain aneurysm research, treatment and education.  1 in 15 people in the US will develop a brain aneurysm and 50% of ruptured aneurysm victims will die within minutes.  The Joe Niekro Foundation is determined to help bring awareness to these silent killers and educate the public on the importance of early detection.  The Joe Niekro Foundation is a registered 501 c-3, which means that your involvement in The Legends Fantasy Camp is not only tax deductible, but going to benefit a wonderful cause working hard to advance neurological medical research for brain aneurysms.

We invite you to join us for an unforgettable five days of fun and promise it will be an experience you will never forget.  There are only a limited number of slots available, so don’t wait, get signed up today. To become part of this exclusive group, contact Natalie Niekro at 602-318-1013 or Jerry Lewis at

We look forward to welcoming you at The Legends Fantasy CampPlaying for a Cause.




May 2019
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