When the Famous North Side Breakfast Group dined with former Pirate broadcaster Lanny Frattare earlier this summer, he made an allusion to the fact that former Pirates star relief pitcher Kent Tekulve "wasn't doing well". Soon thereafter, Teke disappeared from the Pirates post-game TV show, but no one ever gave any definitive reason as to why.
Last night, news was released that Teke had undergone and was now recovering from heart transplant surgery.
Just goes to show that elite athletes are also human beings and are subject to the same physical and human frailties as anyone else. Thank goodness for Teke, and for all of us, that we live in a world where medical science can effect remedies and cures that would have killed people just a generation or two ago.
So, best wishes go out to a genuine Pirates World Series hero, and a guy who could not be a better ambassador for baseball in general and the Pirates in particular.
Nothing would be better on Opening Day 2015 than to see Teke coming in from the Pirate bullpen to throw out the first pitch of the season.
Get well quickly, Kent Tekulve.