Anyone else out there ever think Kent Tekulve was scary when they were a kid in the late-70's?
You see, I loved horror-films, always have, always will. And the late-70's/early-80's were a "golden age" of sorts for the genre.
And one of my favorite horror films when I was really young was "Burnt Offerings" from 1976. It actually still hold's up after all these years, but no need to really get into the film's story (Google it!).
Anyone remember that movie?
But there was one character in the film that absolutely scared the sh*t out of me more than anyone else, and that was the chauffeur, played by actor Anthony James.
Take a look:
Now look at Kent Tekulve's 1978 Topps card (#84):
You can see where a nine-year-old kid would see a resemblance, right?!
Man, Tekulve freaked me out to no end because of that film. Then when I saw how he pitched, all arms and legs, whipping the ball side-armed and looking like death on the mound…ugh! FREAKY!
In 1979 when Tekulve had a lot of television air-time here in NYC because of the Pirates being in the World Series, I was both terrified, yet MESMERIZED!
And I would be lying if I said that Tekulve DIDN'T instantly become one of my favorite Major Leaguers after that! (Hey, like I said, I LOVED horror-films. It was a love-hate thing…).
On a bit of a side-note, it is amazing to remember that at the age of 40, Tekulve appeared in 90- games for the Phillies in 1987!
As a matter of fact that would be the third time Tekulve topped 90+ appearances for a season in his career.
In both 1978 and 1979 he lead the National league with 91 and 94 appearances, and in 1982 he appeared in 85 games to lead the league.
He and Mike Marshall are still the only pitchers to appear in over 90-games in a season more than one, each doing it three times.
He really put together an excellent career coming out of the 'pen, ending with a 94-90 record with 184 saves in 1050 games over 16-years with the Pirates, Phillies and Reds, all in relief (which is still a Major League record for games without a single start in a career).