TAMPA, Fla. – Former major league pitcher Joe Niekro, Houston's career leader with 221 wins, died Friday at 61.
The two-time 20-game winner suffered a brain aneurysm Thursday. Astros President Tal Smith says Niekro's death was a shock.
Smith said Niekro did not have an active role with the Astros but kept in contact with many of his former Houston teammates.
Niekro was the father of San Francisco Giants first baseman Lance Niekro. He won 221 games in his career but never became as well known as his Hall of Fame brother Phil.
Like his older brother, Joe Niekro found success after developing the knuckleball and pitched into his 40s. They had a combined 539 major league victories, a record for brothers.