MLB legends gather to remember Astros legend Joe Niekro

Astros pitching ace Joe Niekro threw a knuckleball that was often unhittable.

Joe and his Hall of Fame brother, Phil Niekro, established history together that still stands.

"When I was with Cleveland, I pitched against Detroit and won that game. That made me and Joe 530 wins, which went past Gaylord and Jim Perry. Him and I wound up with 539 wins," said Phil Niekro, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Joe lost his life to a brain aneurysm in 2006 in Tampa, Fla., but his legacy lives on through the Joe Niekro Foundation.

"The foundations been up-and-going for four years now, and in that four years we've raised a little over $2 million all that's gone towards aneurysm research, treatment and awareness," Natalie Niekro, president and founder of the Joe Niekro Foundation, said.

"There's so many people that have brain aneurysms but they just don't rupture. It's so important to get scanned," said Lance Niekro, the son of Joe.

Especially since an estimated six million in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm.

Major League Baseball legends shared their thoughts with the Fix about Joe.

"I'm in Houston with the Dodgers going for my 20th win in 1977," Tommy John, a pitching great who earned National League comeback player of the year honors in 1976, said. "I'm pitching on a Sunday afternoon against the Astros, and I beat them like 5-2, 5-1, and I beat Joe Niekro.

"In my locker is a bottle of Dom Perignon with a card that says, 'Congratulations on your first 20 win season, Joe.' "

"I was playing in the American League but I [would] see him [Joe] all the time, and told him anytime you need me for any charity events I'll do it for you," Bert Campaneris, a three time World Series champ with theOakland A's and first player to play every position in a Major League Baseball game in 1965, said.

"When he left he said three words, 'brother I love you.' I said, 'Joe I love you,'” said Phil Niekro.

"Our greatest memories of all of my Dad's baseball career were here in Houston," said Natalie Niekro with a smile.

One of the great "Dukes of The Astrodome Diamond" may be gone, but never forgotten.