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Baseball peers remember Joe Niekro as 'fun-loving guy'

Updated: October 28, 2006, 8:07 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Quick with a joke or a smile, Joe Niekro was the life of the Houston Astros' clubhouse for more than a decade.

He also became their most successful pitcher, earning a franchise-record 144 victories in 11 seasons.

Niekro died Friday in Florida from a brain aneurysm at age 61.

Astros president Tal Smith, the general manager for part of Niekro's stint in Houston, saw Niekro last season and said he still had the sense of humor Smith remembered when Niekro was an Astro.

"You ...

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