FAVORITE BRAVES PLAYERS OF THE 1970'S
#2 PHIL NIEKRO
ATLANTA BRAVES 1966-1983, 1987
The only mainstay of the Braves team throughout the seventies was Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil "Knucksie" Niekro. Phil helped lead the Braves to division titles in 1969 and 1982, but during the 70's he seemed to be the perpetual victim of getting no run support and often finding few catchers that could haul in his dancing knuckleball. Phil led the league in losses three times during the decade and wins twice. In 1979, his 21-20 record led the league in both categories! He was the only pitcher of the century to do this. He is also the last to win 20 and lose 20 in the same season. Workhorse Phil also led the league in innings pitched four times during the decade.
His highlight of the decade was his August 5, 1973 no-hitter against the Padres, the only no-hitter for the team during the 70's. So much changed for the Braves during that first decade I followed the team, but Phil Niekro was one thing that didn't.