August 25, 2002

Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm passed away Friday, and though his career ended when I was an infant, the knuckleballer was always one of my favorite players. I started looking into his career when my favorite player, Kent Tekulve, was chasing his career appearances record (Tekulve would eventually pull up short, and the ageless Jesse Orosco has since cleared the record by 100 games and counting).

There have certainly been better relievers in baseball, but almost nobody can boast a more unique set of accomplishments. There's something about relievers like Wilhelm, Quisenberry, and Tekulve that make them natural favorites for guys like me who were not shall we say, blessed with athletic ability. I'll always remember watching Tekulve in one of his last games making the unbelievably hyped Gregg Jefferies look completely ridiculous, swinging at pitches nowhere near the zone. I'm sure fans who got to watch Wilhelm pitch have their own favorite moments like that.
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