Bob Purkey, an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball known for his use of the knuckle ball, died in Pittsburgh on March 16, 2008 following a battle with Alzheimer's Disease.
Purkey played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1954-57, 1966), Cincinnati Reds (1958-64) and St. Louis Cardinals (1965). In 1974 he was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.
Installed in the Reds' starting rotation, Purkey enjoyed a great deal of success over the next seven seasons, peaking with a 23-5 season and leding NL in winning percentage (.821), 2.81 ERA in 1962, finishing 8th in voting for the National League's MVP award. He had won 16 games with the Reds' 1961 pennant winners, and was named to the NL All-Star team in 1958, 1961 and 1962, starting the second 1961 game.
Over a 13-season career, he posted a 129-115 record with 793 strikeouts and a 3.79 earned run average in 2114⅔ innings pitched.
Following his baseball career, Purkey worked as a sportscaster for KDKA-TV in his native Pittsburgh , then opened a successful insurance business.