RIP, Joe Niekro

Former major league pitcher Joe Niekro, who was on the Twins’ 1987 championship team, died Friday of a brain aneurysm at age 61. Niekro had a long and distinguished career, but he might be best known for the incident in 1987 in which a piece of sandpaper fell out of his pocket, and he was suspended for 10 games.
It’s sort of like Gerry Studds: Niekro got back in the news because of a similar transgression (by Kenny Rogers), and then died about a week later.
Not a good year for the ’87 Twins: Puckett and Niekro die, Jeff Reardon gets arrested for robbery, Gary Gaetti gets fired from the Astros, and Bert Blyleven gets suspended for cursing on the air.

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