Sunday, June 14, 2009

1976 Topps #112 - Kent Tekulve

  • Kent Tekulve had a 16-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati Reds. He led the NL in appearances four times and is 8th all-time with 1050. Kent pitched in the minors until 1974 and also spent some time in the minors in '75. He was quite tall (6'4") and skinny (180 lbs). He is probably best remembered for his sidearm delivery and his large glasses.
  • Kent came up to the Pirates in 1974 and pitched in eight games. He split time between AAA Charleston and the Pirates (1-2, 2.25 in 34 games) in 1975. Beginning in 1976 Kent had a long string of good seasons in which his ERA was usually below 3.00. He usually appeared in 60-90 games a year, saved about 20 games a year (two 30+ save seasons) and about 100 or so innings a year.
  • Tekulve was an integral part of the bullpen for the 1979 World Champion Pirates (94 appearances, 31 saves) and finished 5th in Cy Young balloting and 8th in MVP voting that year. Kent was an NL All-Star in 1980 but he didn't pitch in the game. Here is a May 1980 Sports Illustrated article about Kent.
  • It looked like Kent was finally winding down in 1985 when he started off with a 16.20 ERA. He was traded to the Phillies on April 30 and promptly got back to his winning ways (2.99 ERA and 14 saves in 58 games). Kent had a few more good seasons as a middle reliever for the Phillies. He even led the NL in appearances (90) as a 40-year-old in 1987.
  • Tekulve was released by the Phillies after the 1988 season. He hooked on with the Reds for 1989 and had a 5.02 ERA in 52 innings. Kent retired in July 1989 with a lifetime 94-90 record and a 2.85 ERA and 184 saves.
  • After his pitching career Kent worked as a Phillies broadcaster. He is now an analyst for FSN in Pittsburgh.


  1. One of my favorite non-Phillies growing up, I thought my Dad was joking the day he told me that Tek was heading to the Phils.

  2. This was Tek's rookie card. I remember getting this at some point and holding onto since I thought it was going to be really, really valuable.

  3. There are no anagrams for "Kent Tekulve." However,

    Kent Tekulve, big glasses =

    Begets a sulking svelte

    I'd like to see a higher resolution scan of the card front.

  4. God, Teke was skinny. Do you think was his skinniest card? I've got some more skinny dudes right here: