Joe Niekro pitched in 22 Major League seasons for seven different teams and three of them with the Detroit Tigers.
Niekro spent the majority of his career with the Houston Astros, with whom he had his greatest success. He pitched back-to-back 20-win seasons in 1979 and 1980 to become the first Astros pitcher with consecutive 20-win seasons. He was also selected to his only All-Star Game in 1979.
However, Niekro might be best known for his ten-game suspension in 1987 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins. When asked by umpire Tim Tschida to empty his pockets during a game against the California Angels, an emery board flew out of his pockets.
Niekro also has a son, Lance, who played four seasons with the San Francisco Giants.
Niekro was inducted into the Nationals Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Niekro passed away in 2006 after suffering from a brain aneurysm. His legacy lives on in the Joe Niekro Foundation, founded by his daugter Natalie, which donates money toward aneurysm treatment and research.
About This Card
This card happens to be the last card I needed to complete my 1973 Topps set. In this case, it was a simple eBay purchase, but it finished my long quest.