Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association Announces Phil Niekro as Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree for 2016 Legends for Youth Dinner
Colorado Springs, CO – The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is pleased to announce that Hall of Famer Phil Niekro will be honored with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City.
The event, which will take place on Tuesday, November 15 at Capitale, recognizes former major league players for their accomplishments on the diamond coupled with their off-the-field contributions to communities across the nation.
Niekro, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, was a five-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner throughout his 24-year career. Niekro was a two-time National League wins leader, in 1974 and 1979. Niekro compiled 5,404 innings played, ranking him fourth-highest in innings on the mound, behind Cy Young, Pud Galvin and Walter Johnson. Known as “Knucksie” for his prowess with the knuckleball, Niekro is considered one of the greatest knuckleball pitchers of all-time. He achieved 318 career wins pitching for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the end of his career. Niekro’s number “35” was retired by the Braves in 1984 after 21 years with the club. Niekro hosts an annual golf classic, in Braselton, Ga., that raises funds to benefit the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children, which serves to help abused or neglected children. In addition, Niekro hosts a Pro Am Golf tournament which profits Operation One Voice, an organization dedicated to helping children and families of wounded or fallen Special Operations forces. Niekro is an avid leader and participant in the Legends for Youth Clinic Series, which provides thousands of children each year with a fun baseball experience.
Other awards presented at the Legends for Youth dinner include the Heart & Hustle Award and the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award. The Brooks Robinson Community Service Award will be presented to a player who embodies dedication and service to his community. The 12th annual Heart & Hustle Award will also be presented to the active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.
MLBPAA allocates proceeds from the dinner to the Legends for Youth Baseball Clinic series. The Legends for Youth program is a series of free baseball clinics designed to provide children with positive role models, teach young players baseball fundamentals and promote the game of baseball. Former players, such as George Foster, Bobby Grich, Ferguson Jenkins, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Orlando Cepeda and Tom Seaver, have participated in past clinics.
About The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA)
MLBPAA was founded in 1982 with the mission of promoting baseball, raising money for charity and protecting the dignity of the game through its Alumni players. The MLBPAA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO with a membership of more than 7,600, of which approximately 5,600 are Alumni and active players. Alumni players find the MLBPAA to be a vital tool to become involved in charity and community philanthropy. Follow @MLBPAA for Twitter updates.