Monday, July 1, 2013

Reading the Competition: 1986 Topps #326 Kent Tekulve

On the way back from the west coast the Phillies are visiting their cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is a great opportunity for us to recognize a short-time Phil and a Longtime Pirate Kent Tekulve.  

1986 Topps #326 Kent Tekulve

Teke spent the bulk of his career as a very successful closer for the Pirates - 158 Saves over 12 seasosn. He was a big difference maker in the 1979 World Series earning 3 saves for the Bucos versus the Baltimore Orioles.

He also spent a few seasons with some pretty forgettable Phillies teams in the middle 1980s. He pitched mostly as a middle reliever during those campaigns with decent results (3.01 ERA, 129 ERA+, 25 saves over four seasons) and even led the league in Games Pitched in 1987 at the age of 40 - the oldest player to do so at the time, and I believe that remains true today. Tekulve finished with 1050 games pitched, which currently ranks 9th all-time.  .   

Post Playing career Tekulve went into broadcasting - His stops in the booth started in Philadelphia and took him back to Pittsburgh, reversing the direction he went as a player. As far as I know Tekulve remains close to the Pirates organization

In gereral 1986 Topps are not worth the cardboard they are printed on - the #326 Tekulve above likely either came my way in a trade or out of a dime box.  1986 is the first of 3 Topps issues to feature Tekulve with the Phillies. 

Tekulve's rookie card is 1976 Topps #112 and despite falling in the Semi-Star RC category, likely can also be fond for a dime.

RC Observations: 
1) This is a spring training shot, Tekulve is wearing a number (#50) that according to Baseball-Ref he never wore as a Major Leaguer,  
2) If you flip the card you find Tekulve is listed at 6'4" and 180 lbs - do the math and you can figure out that the tall thin guy you saw on TV was no illusion. 

Other Voices
Ohio Cards Blog (1989 Topps Traded #116T)

1986 Topps Blog

Baseball Card Database

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions