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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

    • Al Bumbry: From Bronze Star to AL Rookie of the Year
      May 31, 2021 | 2:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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