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Natalie Niekro Takes Message About Aneurysm Awareness to MLB Network 69

Posted on November 06, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Joe Niekro's memory lives on through the Joe Niekro Foundation.

Joe Niekro's memory lives on through the Joe Niekro Foundation.

On the day that would have been her father’s 65th birthday, Natalie Niekro will honor the memory of her father, former major league baseball star Joe Niekro, by telling a national audience about the importance of awareness about and funding for aneurysm research.

Since starting the Joe Niekro Foundation, Natalie Niekro has been a one-woman crusade to ensure that the tragic death of her father from a brain Aneurysm in 2006 helps save the lives of others who unknowingly suffer from Aneurysms.

After raising $450,000 earlier this year by hosting the first-ever Knuckle Ball at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Natalie set her sites on other ways to use the notoriety of her father’s baseball career to help the cause.

Throughout the last week of October, the Joe Niekro Foundation and the Arizona Fall League teamed up for “Aneurysm Awareness Week.”

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Joe Niekro Foundation and Arizona Fall League Partner To Strike Out Aneurysms 46

Posted on October 19, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Natalie Niekro threw out the first pitch at the Houston Astros game on September 13, 2009. She will be throwing out the first pitch at three Arizona Fall League games between October 26-31 as part of "Aneurysm Awareness Week" at the Arizona Fall League.

Natalie Niekro threw out the first pitch at the Houston Astros game on September 13, 2009. She will be throwing out the first pitch at three Arizona Fall League games between October 26-31 as part of "Aneurysm Awareness Week" at the Arizona Fall League.

Unlike the deceptive and tricky pitch that her father used to record 221 major league victories, Natalie Niekro’s goal for the Joe Niekro Foundation is very straightforward and simple. She is determined to turn the tragedy of his death from a brain aneurysm three years ago into a positive by using his memory and celebrity to increase awareness about and funding for brain aneurysm research.

Following on the heals of the foundation’s successful initial fundraiser earlier this year, the Joe Niekro Foundation is continuing its mission of “Knuckling Up for Aneurysm Research” by teaming up with the Arizona Fall League to raise money and increase awareness.

The Fall League has designated the week of October 26 as “Aneurysm Awareness Week.”  As a result, every strikeout recorded that week by a pitcher from one of the seven teams that Joe Niekro played for during his 22-year career in the majors will result in a donation to the foundation.

“So far we have three sponsors that each will donate $36 per strikeout,” Natalie Niekro said. “The number 36 is important to us because that was my dad’s number.”

In addition, Natalie, a marketing executive in Scottsdale, and her husband, Luke Woosley, will match each donation.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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