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Atlanta Braves Hall Of Famer Died On Saturday Night

A general view of the Atlanta Braves stadium before an MLB game.

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

One of the greatest players in Atlanta Braves franchise history passed away on Saturday night.

Phil Niekro, a Hall of Fame pitcher who twice led the National League in wins, died at the age of 81 on Saturday night.

The Baseball Hall of Fame, which Niekro became a member of in 1997, announced the tragic news on Sunday morning.

“Phil Niekro’s record on the field ranks him as one of the game’s finest pitchers,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As a mentor, leader and friend, Phil brought out the best in all of us in Cooperstown. Over more than a decade of serving as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame, his wisdom, his compassion, and his love for the game proved to be invaluable in helping us shape our decisions. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I would like to send our heartfelt condolences to Nancy Niekro and the Niekro family.”

Niekro played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves from 1964 until 1983. He won five Gold Gloves, made five All-Star Games and pitched a no-hitter in 1973. The MLB world is heartbroken by the news of his death.

Our thoughts are with Phil's friends and family.

May he rest in peace.