2020 has been rough on Cooperstown

Can you remember such a bad year for Baseball's Hall of Fame?  I can't remember another year when so many of the greats passed away.

We lost Phil Niekro over the weekend:

Niekro was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1997. The iconic knuckleballer collected 318 wins over a 24-year career that included stints with the Braves (1964–83 and 1987), Yankees ('84–'85), Tribe ('86–'87) and Blue Jays ('87). He was a five-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner who finished within the top six in National League Cy Young Award balloting five times from '69–'82.

His best years were with the Braves, but he did not get to pitch for the teams that dominated the National League in the 1990s. 

Niekro was famous for that knuckle ball, or the pitch that every kid wants to throw but can't.  I tried and tried, but my "knuckle balls" never got to home plate.  Niekro would have probably told me that I wasn't holding the ball correctly.

Great pitcher who threw a no-hitter but never won the Cy Young Award.  Neither did Nolan Ryan, and he had a pretty good career.

Twenty twenty was horrible.  We lost Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, Joe Morgan, and now Joe Niekro.  (By the way, Gibson, Brock, and Kaline started Game 7 of the 1968 World Series.)

All I can say is that St. Peter has a heck of a rotation for the upcoming season.  Furthermore, having Brock lead off and Kaline hitting third is one team I'm betting on!

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Image credit: Chris Evans via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.