Tim Benz: ‘We performed wiffle ball nearly on a daily basis… while you have been pitching, you have been at the teck’

A tender baseball participant within the Nineteen Seventies, John Wehner grew up in Pittsburgh as a large fan of the Pirates and their 1979 International Collection championship staff.

Now a broadcaster for the Pirates after 9 years within the uniform himself, the ones recollections have not light for the Carrick Top Faculty graduate.

“When I used to be in center college and highschool, infrequently I’d take the bus (to 3 Rivers Stadium) on my own to look them,” Wehner mentioned prior to Friday’s sport in opposition to the Chicago Cubs. “I will be able to nonetheless title all 25 guys at the International Collection roster. I used to hear him each and every evening.

So how time and again has he attempted to throw a sidearm throw like aid pitcher Kent Tekulwe?

“Virtually on a daily basis,” Wehner recalled with a grin. “We performed wiffle ball nearly on a daily basis. It was once the Phillies vs. the Pirates. While you have been pitching, you pitched, or perhaps Jim Bibby if you happen to have been right-handed.”

As a herbal overhand thrower, Wehner admits that his Bibby impersonation was once usually reasonably higher than his Tekulwe.

“But when we were given a overdue lead, I used to be tumbling down,” Wehner mentioned of Teculve’s distinctive submarine taste.

That unforgettable supply ended in 158 saves as a Pirate and he was once inducted into the staff’s Corridor of Reputation on Saturday.

“I made each and every effort throughout that length to inform folks, particularly children, ‘Do not throw like that as a result of I throw like that. I throw like that as a result of that is how I will be able to get folks out. You throw such as you generally throw. Take the way in which that feels herbal to you,” Tekulwe mentioned after his induction. “However it felt just like the message did not set in as a result of everyone sought after to do it. As it appeared other. There was once simply one thing about it that attracted (more youthful children) to do it.”

Born in Cincinnati, Tekulwe mentioned he was once impressed to ship throughout a sport of catch with a teammate within the outfield, when he tried to replicate Reds pitcher Ted Abernathy’s supply.

“Abruptly, the ground of it dropped,” Tekulwe advised TribalLive’s Mark Madden throughout a contemporary interview on 105.9 The X. “It went down about 10 inches. And I am pronouncing, ‘Wow! We may have discovered one thing right here.’ The sinker got here in so speedy. It was once the primary time I threw a ball like that. Took a couple of extra years to determine the best way to throw the breaking ball to perform it.

Teculve says that for 34 years after his retirement, Pirates enthusiasts have by no means stopped telling him how his supply impressed them to check out the similar factor of their yard in the future of their lives.

Tekulwe mentioned, “Each and every dialog so far.” “And numerous[young]folks I see now, I say, ‘I do know you have not noticed it (reside)!'” So that you both noticed a video, or somebody advised you about it. advised.’ I imply, actually each and every child who was once in Pittsburgh on the time, for some reason why, was once seeking to do it that approach.

A kind of folks is Pirates bench trainer Don Kelly. Born in Butler, Kelly was once handiest 5 years outdated when Tekulwe was once traded to Philadelphia in 1985. However the Mount Lebanon graduate stated seeking to sidearm it like Tekulwe as a minor leaguer who was once experimenting with pitching.

“I take into accout when I used to be a kid; My dad was once a large fan of Teke. It was once one thing I attempted to do,” Kelly mentioned.

how did that occur?

“No longer just right,” Kelly mentioned, guffawing. “My father advised me to start out going again to the highest.”


• ‘They deal with us like we are royalty’: Pirates Corridor of Famers thank you enthusiasts, teammates for make stronger
• Pirates sufferer Jack Suwinski running to mend his stench on the plate amid a disappointing August

This isn’t unexpected. Whilst Teculve made that funky supply glance so clean and easy, it was once onerous to do. Different pitchers in Tekulwe’s technology and within the many years that adopted have joined the massive leagues throwing sidearms. But few have duplicated Tekulwe’s luck.

One in all them was once shut teammate Dan Quisenberry, who followed Teculve’s submarine taste in his 2d season in 1980 on the recommendation of his supervisor, Jim Frey.

He then changed into a three-time All-Famous person with the Kansas Town Royals. Quisenberry completed his occupation with 244 saves. Long term Pirate and present staff broadcaster Bob Stroll was once at the Philadelphia Phillies throughout the 1980 International Collection after they performed Quisenberry and the Royals.

“Anyone talked to them, they usually got here into the dugout, and the primary query was once, ‘How’s it?’ And he is going ‘similar to Teke, however he does not throw as onerous,'” Stroll remembered. “And I used to be considering, ‘Wow.’ Everyone compares somebody like that to Teke, ‘purpose Teke Is the most productive.

In keeping with what fellow Pirates Corridor of Famer Steve Blass mentioned, what set Tekulwe excluding maximum side-armers was once his pace stroll.

“It’s a must to know what you might be doing with it (the supply),” Blass mentioned. “Numerous folks assume, ‘Neatly, it is all only a hoax.’ However he had tempo. Numerous folks say that was once the one motion on his ball that he had. However he additionally had sufficient tempo to stay you truthful.”

David Bednar, an in depth aide of the present pirates who grew up on Mars, says he’s neatly acutely aware of Tekulwe’s legacy. However seeking to finish the sport with a sidearm save is not likely.

“I don’t believe I’ve that during my bag,” Bednar laughed.

No longer unexpected. Bednar’s tough, burly body is set as reverse of Tekulwe’s lanky “rubberband guy” look as you’ll get. However Tekulwe has a posture that Bednar needs to emulate.

A party of hitting the mound to complete off a championship.

“That is the function,” Bednar mentioned. “It is one thing we in reality need to get again right here once conceivable.”

It’s one thing that Teculve additionally needs to look and that he’ll at all times cherish to look achieved.

Tekulwe mentioned, “Steve (Blass) and I discuss it always.” “Youngsters in every single place this nation develop up dreaming of throwing the closing pitch to win the International Collection or hitting the house run to win the International Collection. (Invoice) Mazeroski needed to do it on one finish. Steve and I’ve to do it at the different. How fortunate we’re so to make each and every little kid’s dream come true.”

Listen: Tim Benz discusses Pirates Corridor of Reputation induction rite with Kent Tekulwey and Steve Blass

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Assessment team of workers author. You’ll touch Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or thru Twitter, All Tweets may also be reposted. Until in a different way specified, all emails are topic to e-newsletter.

Leave a Reply