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Sports Then and Now



The Joe Niekro Foundation Cheers Every K at AZ Fall League Event 0

Posted on November 12, 2009 by Todd Civin
Natalie Niekro at Pre-game Ceremonies at previous event in Houston

Natalie Niekro at Pre-game Ceremonies at previous event in Houston

“And that’s the rest of the story” was, of course, the famous phrase uttered countless times by the late, great, Paul Harvey. For those readers too young or too sheltered to remember the immortal radio legend, Harvey gave listeners the endings to stories that were news worthy one day and faded away from our memories the next. Harvey would present to listeners the happy or ironic outcome of a story long since forgotten.

I often think about how many times, the readers, the watchers, the audience become enthralled by the beginning and middle of a story and are never given the opportunity to hear the “and they lived happily ever after” piece.

So in hopes of righting a journalistic wrong, I’ve tracked down my favorite knuckleballer’s favorite little girl to see how Natalie Niekro and The Joe Niekro Foundation made out at the expense of the whiffers from the Arizona Fall League. Read the rest of this entry →

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.”

Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Niekro: Daddy’s Little Girl Knuckles Up for Aneurysm Research 1

Posted on August 30, 2009 by Todd Civin
Joe and Natalie Niekro

Joe and Natalie Niekro

It’s funny how life sometimes brings you down a path you didn’t plan to walk down. You welcome its existence and take the first step with a slight sense of trepidation.

You assume you know where you are headed but often times have no idea what is in store. You walk slowly and instead of finding what you hoped to find, you find something far more magnificent.
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      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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