Today is knuckleball pitcher Phil's Niekro's 81st birthday. I wonder if every year, someone thinks it's funny to put those stupid candles on his cake that won't blow out. Do they sing "April Fools Day to you"?
I'm usually late to the Fool's party, sometimes I don't show up. This is my first opportunity to post on what is one of my favorite days of the year. Only the Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mardis Gras, my birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Opening Day, President's Day, National Pie Day, Boxing Day, sick days and payday rank higher. There are a few others I like more but I want you to take me seriously. Seriously, don't take me seriously. I always manage to make every post about me. Back to Knucksie...
Phil's 1988 Score shows full career stats - a sunset card:
From the days of overproduction, the card back is quite simple, with a nice little photo of his good side. He began his MLB career the year I was born. Me. Me. Me. When I graduated high school in 82, he was still a Brave. Not to brag but my senior grade point average was slightly higher than his 3.41 ERA. Knucksie Phil pitched for almost 25 years. I read somewhere his right arm was about one inch and three quarters longer than his left. He retired as a Brave at age 48. I was 48 just a few short years ago. The Braves retired his number 35 in 1984. I was 35 when I attended my first Braves' game at Turner Field!! Knucksie and I have so much in common! It's creepy in a Lincoln/Kennedy kind of way!
I was never a fan of early Score, or any Score. This front side does have orange borders, perfect for a "Sunset" card. I am a big fan of sunsets in general, yet another coincidence?
So the truth is, I don't own this card. As you may know, many of my posts are built around stolen internet images. Kleptomania at its virtual finest. Burgled by browser. Whatever you may call it, I lack any notoriety. Phil's nickname "Knucksie" on the other hand, is a crossword puzzle clue. Answer: NIEKRO.
Have a great day everyone - and be well!