HOUSTON -- Joe Niekro, the knuckleball pitcher who's won more games than any other pitcher in Astros history, was inducted into the Astros Walk of Fame on Friday afternoon. He's the 15th person to be honored on the walk, which sits along Texas Ave. outside Minute Maid Park.
Niekro, who died of a brain aneurism in 2007, was represented at the unveiling of his plaque by daughter Natalie Niekro. Joe Niekro won 144 games for the Astros, for whom he played 11 years in his 22-year career.
"Houston was always our home and by far out of the seven teams my dad played for, it was definitely the one he enjoyed the most," Natalie Niekro said. "So it means a lot to me. We just have to get No. 36 hanging from the rafters. That's my next mission."
Shortly after her father's death in 2006, Natalie Niekro started the Joe Niekro Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million to benefit brain aneurism research. It's based out of Scottsdale, Ariz., which is Natalie's home.
"I come to Houston quite a bit and we do a lot with the foundation in the city, but today is extra special," she said. "I appreciate being here and what the Astros are doing. It means a lot."