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Outside The Confines: Phil Niekro passes at age 81

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Niekro’s passing makes seven Hall of Famers lost this year.

Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

As the year draws to a close and we reflect on all the major moments of 2020, one thing that will stick out to a lot of baseball fans is just how many Hall of Famers we lost over the past year.

And this weekend, famed Braves knuckleballer Phil Niekro became the seventh Hall of Famer lost this year. Niekro, who was 81, passed following a battle with cancer, and leaves behind a tremendous pitching legacy as one of the most unique pitchers of all time. He was a five-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner, and had an unbelievable 24-season career.

In an oddly timed post, MLB’s official Twitter had posted this just the day before Niekro’s passing, and aired a special remembering the first six Hall of Famers who passed this year: Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, and Joe Morgan.

It has, without a doubt, been a very difficult year for Hall of Famers and baseball fans alike.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.