Tekulve gets PNC crowd pumped up with first pitch

Ex-Bucs All-Star reliever, who helped seal 1979 World Series, is coming off heart transplant

Tekulve gets PNC crowd pumped up with first pitch

PITTSBURGH -- Greeted by a standing ovation, and less than a month removed from a heart transplant, Kent Tekulve was back in a No. 27 Pirates jersey on Wednesday night. The man who threw the final pitch the last time the Bucs won the World Series tossed the first pitch of their 2014 postseason.

Tekulve, 67, underwent the procedure on Sept. 5, and the former All-Star reliever was back in the public spotlight.

  Date   Result Highlights
  Oct. 1   SF 8, PIT 0 video
Tekulve threw to current reliever Jared Hughes, and he received a roar from the soldout black-clad PNC Park crowd. Afterward, he waved a black towel above his head, inciting more cheers.

Tekulve didn't throw it in his usual submarine style from his playing days, when he spent parts of 12 seasons with the Bucs. He finished his 16-year career -- which included a championship in 1979 -- with 194 saves, and he has served as an analyst on Pirates broadcasts.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.