Kent Tekulve

Kent TekulveOf 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.

One of only four pitchers to appear in as many as 90 games in three different seasons. The others: Mike Marshall, Wayne Granger, and Salomon Torres (as of 2011).

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.

Passing Hoyt

“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.