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Essential Pittsburgh: '79 Pitcher Kent Tekulve Returns to Pirates Baseball

Brock Fleeger
1979 Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve is recovering from heart transplant surgery while returning to baseball as part of the Pirates broadcast team.

Former Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve was known as a workhorse out of the bullpen during his 16 year Major League Baseball career. He led the majors in games pitched four times, appearing in 90 or more in three different seasons. Tekulve saved three games in the 1979 World Series including the winner, as the Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles. But the biggest save of his life came last fall when he received a life-saving heart transplant. Teke, as he is known, joins us to talk about his recovery and return to the airwaves as a member of the Pirates broadcast team.

Kent Tekulve (starting at 28:10) remains humble despite all of his successes:

I never thought of myself as a Hall of Famer. I think I'm just very proud to be able to do what I was able to do and to compete against a whole lot of Hall of Famers and have some success against them while I was playing.

Also in today's show: Pittsburgh design firm MAYA and StoryCorps team up to create a mobile version of the StoryCorps recording and archiving experience, and the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds begin their season, giving the sport of Ultimate Disc a firm foothold in the Pittsburgh area. 

MAYA and StoryCorps (starts at 9:05)

Since 2003, StoryCorps has been encouraging people to create their own audio histories. The organization had three booths nationwide, as well as two mobile booths, the interviews from which were archived within the Library of Congress. Now, StoryCorps is making the process even more accessible with a new mobile recording application. Greg Gibilisco, Director of Visual Design at MAYA (the firm chosen to develop the app), and Dean Haddock, Director of Web and Information Technology at StoryCorps explain the app's development and its impact on audio story-telling. 

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (starts at 0:00)

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds are a professional Ultimate Disc team of the American Ultimate Disc League. The team begins its inaugural home season this Saturday and will play 7 home games in Pittsburgh. Before they take to the field we’ll learn a little about the sport and its growing popularity, especially here in Pittsburgh, with team coach Dave Hogan and player Aaron Watts.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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