6.22.2009

Phil Niekro, 1986 Topps

Name: Phil Niekro
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Ace
Value of card: One Denarius coin, Roman Empire, circa 200 B.C.
Key 1985 stat: Four games of pinochle before early bird special (April 24)
10 reasons Phil Niekro was old in 1986:
10) He was born in 1939, six years before the microwave oven was invented
9) When infielders threw the ball around the horn, Niekro told them to turn it down
8) His age was a higher number than his fastball's radar-gun reading
7) He signed with the Braves after 12th grade because he thought he'd get a shot at a high school bully, Custer
6) He wore black socks with sandals — on the mound
5) He fell asleep in the clubhouse June 12. Don Mattingly called the morgue
4) When manager Lou Piniella tried to take him out of a game, Niekro told him to respect his elders
3) On road trips, his back went out more than he did
2) Despite 33 starts in 1985, he never took the hill; he was always over it
1) Players, coaches, Yankees staff members and Major League Baseball officials mistook him for George Steinbrenner every day.

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