Of all the relievers in baseball history, if you had to choose one to get you an out where you absolutely didnít want to surrender a home run, Tekulve would be your man. In more than 1,400 innings pitched, Tekulve allowed just 63 homers. Batters had a hell of a time picking up the ball out of his hand as it scraped the ground.
When he was on the mound, he looked like a character from a Tim Burton movie: long, impossibly gangly, pale, cheek bone popping from his chaw, thick glasses, and an absolutely bizarre motion.
Tekulve relied on a sinker, slider, and a very strange looking curve ball that dropped sharply to the inside of the plate on left-handed batters.
“My goal wasn’t to pitch more games in relief than any man in history. But it means a lot because of the person whose record I broke, and because guys like Elroy Face and Jim Konstanty, guys who pioneered the art of relief pitching. Being compared to those guys means something to me.” — Kent Tekulve upon breaking Hoyt Wilhelm‘s record for most games pitched, in 1989.