Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Pittsburgh

When popular submarine-sidearm (though mediocre) Pirate pitcher Kent Tekulve was traded to the Phillies in April of 1985, many of Pittsburgh's faithful were up-in-arms that their ridiculous looking starter/mascot was so easily disposed of. Sure, he was an average pitcher. But he was their average pitcher for the past 12 seasons.

In an effort to placate the growing hostility at Three Rivers, Pittsburgh brass thought they could simply find another player to wear prescription Blue Blocker aviator glasses and the trademark stovepipe cap.

Three months later, in August of '85, they traded for Mike Brown. A younger, fresher swashbuckler that the Pirates front office was sure would make their fans forget all about Tekulve and his comical delivery.

Things started off on the right foot. After coming over from the Angels in '85, Brown hit .332 for the Buccos with 33 RBI in 57 games. It was all downhill from there.

The following year each time Brown came to bat he was greeted by chants of "Kent-Te-Kul-Ve (dunt-dunt-dunt-dunt-da)."

It took its toll on young Mike. The following season he hit a paltry .218. By 1989, at the ripe young age of 28 he was out of the Bigs.

Lesson learned. There's only one Kent Tekulve.


Kent Tekulve
Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
1986 Topps # 326

Topps Fact: He earned his 1st major league Win 5-27-74.
GMT Fact: The Phillie Phanatic was more afraid of Kent Tekulve than he was a coked up Lonnie Smith. No one ever knew why. He was actually a nice guy. Regardless, Tekulve was the one player the Phantic dared not f*ck with.

Mike Brown
Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates
1986 Topps # 114

Topps Fact: First major league Home Run: 7-22-83
GMT Fact: Lack of hitting in '86 was later attributed to the fact that Pirates' ownership insisted on Brown wearing prescription lens (despite the fact that he otherwise had perfect 20/20 vision). He simply couldn't see straight.

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