Thursday, November 29, 2012

Putting Out The Fire- The sidearmers

This series has been great for me and so I didn't want it to end just yet. There were a few closers that I just had to give them their due before ending this series. It must have to do with the fact that when I was growing up I always wanted to be a closer myself. Something about these intimidating men out there blowing pitches by helpless hitters. One of the first I ever saw was Kent Tekulve.

Dating myself here a bit, but I first saw Kent when he was at the top of his game. 1978 through 1980, the three years he was able to save 83 games. Seeing that submarine motion and guys helpless against it had me hooked. From that point on I was a submarine pitcher. While it never got me anywhere in baseball. I grew up teaching myself the motion and whenever playing baseball around the small town I grew up in striking out many a kid with that wild motion. How he got so many out with that style I will never know. It did make him my first ever hero in baseball though.
For his career Kent played 16 seasons as a reliever and set-up man. A true closer who never made one start his entire career. Kent own many record for games pitched and innings pitched, including the record of pitching in 9 consecutive games. While his career saves isn't in line with the 'Hall Of Fame' closers he was known as a workhorse with tons of value.
SAVES- 184
GAMES- 1,050

Starting his career at the same time Tekulve was at his hottest, another submariner by the name of Dan Quisenberry was coming on to the scene.

Persuaded by Royals manager Jim Frey to adopt the submarine style as a way to confuse hitters Quisenberry took on the challenge. Learning the pitching style made Quisenberry the American League's most dominate closer. While not getting many strikeouts Dan got ground-ball after ground-ball. With an ERA similar to the pitcher who's style he adopted Quisenberry was able to close more games for his career.
SAVES- 244
GAMES- 674

1 comment:

  1. Tekulve is one of my favorites as well. The '86 Topps is one of his finest cards in my opinion.