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Encyclopedia > Turk Wendell
Turk Wendell pitched for the New York Mets from 1997 to 2001.
Turk Wendell pitched for the New York Mets from 1997 to 2001.

Steven John "Turk" Wendell (born May 19, 1967 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States) was a Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher from 1993 to 2004. Image File history File links Turk_Wendell. ... May 19 is the 139th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (140th in leap years). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Caption Pittsfield is a city located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. ... Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in professional baseball in the world. ... A relief pitcher warms up in the bullpen as the game goes on A relief pitcher or reliever is a baseball or softball pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness and/or fatigue. ...


Wendell was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1988 (a 5th Round Selection). He made his major league debut on June 17, 1993. The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is held every year in June by conference call among the 30 Major League clubs. ... Major league affiliations National League (1876-present) East Division (1994-present) West Division (1969-1993) Major league titles World Series titles (3) 1995 â€¢ 1957 â€¢ 1914 NL Pennants (17) 1999 â€¢ 1996 â€¢ 1995 â€¢ 1992 1991 â€¢ 1958 â€¢ 1957 â€¢ 1948 1914 â€¢ 1898 â€¢ 1897 â€¢ 1893 1892 â€¢ 1891 â€¢ 1883 â€¢ 1878 1877 East Division titles (12) 2005... June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ...

Contents


College career

Wendell graduated from Quinnipiac University in 1989, where he is among the school's all-time leaders in strikeouts (single season) and earned run average. Quinnipiac University: University Quadrangle, School of Business and School of Communications facilities, Sleeping Giant in background Quinnipiac University is a private four-year university in Hamden, Connecticut, located on about 500 acres (2 km²), just north of New Haven. ... In baseball, a strikeout or strike out (denoted by K, K-S, or SO) occurs when the batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. ... In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. ...


Major League Career

Wendell was generally regarded as "work horse" relief pitcher who threw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a change-up. Wendell was commonly seen as having above-average control, average movement, below-average power, and a good pick-off move. A four-seam fastball, is a pitch in baseball and a variant of the straight fastball. ... A two-seam fastball, sometimes called a two-seamer, is a pitch in baseball and a variant of the straight fastball. ... In baseball, a slider (also known as a nickel curve) is a pitch halfway between a curveball and a fastball, with less break but more speed than the curve. ... A changeup is a type of pitch in baseball. ... Pickoff attempt on runner (in red) at first base A pickoff is an act by a pitcher, throwing a live ball to a fielder so that the fielder would tag out a baserunner who is either leading off or about to begin stealing the next base. ...


Rocky Start

Wendell was traded by the Braves to the Chicago Cubs in 1991, and pitched in their minor league system for two years before making his major league debut in 1993. Wendell got off to a rocky start, pitching in only 13 games in the 1993 and 1994 seasons combined, posting a 1-3 record and a 7.30 ERA. Major league affiliations National League (1876-present) Central Division (1994-present) East Division (1969-1993) Major league titles World Series titles (2) 1908 â€¢ 1907 NL Pennants (16) 1945 â€¢ 1938 â€¢ 1935 â€¢ 1932 1929 â€¢ 1918 â€¢ 1910 â€¢ 1908 1907 â€¢ 1906 â€¢ 1886 â€¢ 1885 1882 â€¢ 1881 â€¢ 1880 â€¢ 1876 Central Division titles (1) 2003 East Division... A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ... In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. ...


Becoming a Solid Reliever and Fan Favorite

Wendell (right) celebrating with his teammates after the Mets won the 2000 National League pennant.
Wendell (right) celebrating with his teammates after the Mets won the 2000 National League pennant.

From 1994 on, however, Wendell improved to a 3.88 ERA in 187 game appearances for the Cubs. Toward the end of the 1997 season, Wendell was traded to the New York Mets, where he spent three and a half seasons. Wendell was extremely well liked by Mets fans, given his friendly personality, sense of humor, outspoken nature, and frequent antics (see below). Image File history File links Wendell_2000_World_Series. ... Major league affiliations National League (1962-present) East Division (1969-present) Major league titles World Series titles (2) 1986 â€¢ 1969 NL Pennants (4) 2000 â€¢ 1986 â€¢ 1973 â€¢ 1969 East Division titles (4) 1988 â€¢ 1986 â€¢ 1973 â€¢ 1969 Wild card berths (2) 2000 â€¢ 1999 Major league nicknames New York Mets (1962-present) Major... Turk Wendell pitched for the New York Mets from 1997 to 2001. ...


In his Met career, spanning over five seasons, Wendell posted a solid 3.34 ERA and a 22-14 record in 285 appearances. He led the team in games pitched in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. In baseball statistics, games pitched (denoted by GP) is the number of games in which a pitcher appears. ... In baseball statistics, games pitched (denoted by GP) is the number of games in which a pitcher appears. ...


As a Met, Wendell appeared in the playoffs twice, in 1999 and 2000, including an appearance in the 2000 World Series. A playoff in sports (North American professional sports in particular) is a game or series of games played after the regular season is over with the goal of determining a league champion. ... 2000 World Series Logo The 2000 World Series (a Subway Series) featured a crosstown matchup between the two-time defending champion New York Yankees and the New York Mets, with the Yankees winning 4 games to 1 for their third straight championship and 26th overall. ...


Plateau and Decline

In mid-2001, Wendell was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he spent the remainder of the season. After missing the entire 2002 season due to an elbow injury, Wendell returned to pitch in 56 games for the Phillies in 2003, with a 3-3 record and a 3.38 ERA. Major league affiliations National League (1883-present) East Division (1969-present) Major league titles World Series titles (1) 1980 NL Pennants (5) 1993 â€¢ 1983 â€¢ 1980 â€¢ 1950 1915 East Division titles (6) [1] 1993 â€¢ 1983 â€¢ 1980 â€¢ 1978 1977 â€¢ 1976 Wild card berths (0) None [1] - In 1981, a players strike in...


After the 2003 season, Wendell became a free agent, and was not re-signed by the Phillies. Instead, Wendell signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies, where he spent an injury-plagued season moving back and forth between the major league squad and various minor league rehab assignments. Wendell was released by the Rockies toward the end of the 2003 season. In North American professional sports, particularly baseball, football, and basketball, a free agent is a team player whose contract with a team has expired, and the player is able to sign a contract with another team. ... A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ... Major league affiliations National League (1993-present) West Division (1993-present) Major league titles World Series titles (0) None NL Pennants (0) None West Division titles (0) None Wild card berths (1) 1995 Major league nicknames Colorado Rockies (1993-present) Major league home ballparks Coors Field (1995-present) Mile High...


Wendell signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros in early 2005, but was unable to earn a spot on the team's major league roster at spring training, and announced his retirement in March, 2005. Major league affiliations National League (1962-present) Central Division (1994-present) West Division (1969-1993) Major league titles World Series titles (0) None NL Pennants (1) 2005 Central Division titles (4) 2001 â€¢ 1999 â€¢ 1998 â€¢ 1997 West Division titles (2) [1][2] 1986 â€¢ 1980 Wild card berths (2) 2005 â€¢ 2004 [1... A Grapefruit League game at the LA Dodgers camp in Vero Beach, Florida In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of exhibition games which precedes the regular season. ...

Eccentric Personality

Wendell is probably best known for his baseball-related eccentricities, which included: Eccentric is from the Greek for out of the centre, as opposed to concentric, in the centre. ...

Whenever he entered or left the baseball field, Wendell would leap over the baseline.
Whenever he entered or left the baseball field, Wendell would leap over the baseline.
  • Wendell insisted that the umpire roll the ball to the mound rather than simply throw it to him (If an umpire would ignorantly throw the ball to him, Wendell was known to let it go past him, or even to let it bounce off his chest, after which he would retrieve it from the ground).
  • Whenever he began a new inning, Wendell would turn and wave to the center fielder and wait for him to wave back before proceeding.
  • At the beginning of each inning, Wendell would reportedly draw three crosses in the pitcher's mound dirt.
  • Whenever his catcher stood, Wendell would crouch down.
  • When entering or leaving the field, Wendell would always take a tremendous leap over the baseline.
  • Wendell would chew black licorice (an alternative to the chewing tobacco used by many players).
  • Wendell often brushed his teeth between innings (some claim that he brushed between every inning). While brushing, he often hid in the dugout, either by ducking behind objects or by facing the wall.
  • Wendell forcefully slammed his rosin bag onto the pitcher's mound between outs.
  • Wendell wore jersey number 99, in honor of Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, the main character in the movie Major League (played by Charlie Sheen).
  • Wendell wore a necklace made from the claws and teeth of various animals he had hunted and killed.
  • While in the minor leagues, Wendell was rumored to drink only orange juice (no food or any other drink) on days he pitched.
  • Wendell sometimes threw his glove into the stands when leaving a game.

Image File history File links Turk_Wendell_Leap. ... Image File history File links Turk_Wendell_Leap. ... In sports, an umpire is an official appointed to rule on plays and procedure. ... The pitcher moves forward off the rubber as the pitch is released. ... An innings, or inning, is a segment of a game in any of a variety of sports – most notably baseball and cricket – during which a side takes its turn to bat. ... The position of the center fielder A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field - the baseball fielding position between left field and right field (e. ... For other uses, see Cross (disambiguation). ... In English, dirt can refer to several things: Soil on the ground. ... The position of the catcher Catcher is also a general term for a fielder who catches the ball in cricket. ... Binomial name Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Liquorice (Br. ... Species N. glauca N. longiflora N. rustica N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005 Tobacco (, L.) refers to a genus of broad-leafed plants of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America, or to the dried and cured leaves of such plants. ... Three toothbrushes The toothbrush is an instrument used to clean teeth. ... Cincinnati Reds dugout, 1991 In baseball, the dugout is where a teams bench is located. ... A 20 g cake of amber violin bow rosin. ... In baseball, an out occurs when the defensive team effects any of a number of different events, and the umpire rules a batter or baserunner out. ... Major League is a 1989 movie starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen. ... Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen, (born Carlos Irwin Estévez September 3, 1965) is an American actor. ... A necklace is an article of clothing or jewelry; which is worn around the neck. ... A hunter on horseback shoots at deer or elk with a bow. ... Glove front (top) shows catching surface with baseball bat. ...

Speaking His Mind

Wendell made a name for himself not only through his pitching and personality, but through his outspoken nature as well. One of the most notable examples came in 2004, during the heart of the public debate over Major League Baseball's steroid problem. When asked about Barry Bonds, one of the most controversial figures in the debate, Wendell said that Bonds "obviously" took steroids, noting the fact that Bonds's trainer had admitted to giving steroids to baseball players and that Bonds's physical appearance strongly suggested steroid use. Bonds responded aggressively, telling Wendell, "You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we’ll deal with each other. Don’t talk through the media like you’re some tough guy." Ironically, Bonds delivered this message through the media during an on-camera interview in the San Francisco Giants dugout. A steroid is a lipid characterized by a carbon skeleton with four fused rings. ... Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964 in Riverside, California) is a left fielder in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants; he is most famous for his home run hitting, and is notorious for his alleged involvement with performance enhancing drugs. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Major league affiliations National League (1883-present) West Division (1969-present) Major league titles World Series titles (5) 1954 â€¢ 1933 â€¢ 1922 â€¢ 1921 1905  NL Pennants (20) 2002 â€¢ 1989 â€¢ 1962 â€¢ 1954 1951 â€¢ 1937 â€¢ 1936 â€¢ 1933 1924 â€¢ 1923 â€¢ 1922 â€¢ 1921 1917 â€¢ 1913 â€¢ 1912 â€¢ 1911 1905 â€¢ 1904 â€¢ 1889 â€¢ 1888 West Division titles (6...


This was not the first time Wendell had been known to ruffle some people's feathers, however. In early 2001, after Vladimir Guerrero (then playing for the Montreal Expos) took exception to being hit by Wendell, Wendell remarked, "If he doesn't like it, he can freakin' go back to the Dominican and find another line of work." Vladimir Alvino Guerrero (born February 9, 1976 in Nizao, Peravia, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball player currently with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. ... The Montreal Expos (Les Expos de Montréal) were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1969 to 2004. ... In baseball, being hit by a pitch refers to the batter being hit in some part of the body by a pitch from the pitcher. ...


Less than a month later, Wendell was ejected from a game against the St. Louis Cardinals for throwing behind batter Mike Matheny. After the game, Wendell asked rhetorically, "When [Rick] Ankiel is out there and he throws balls everywhere, why don't they throw him out of the game?" Major league affiliations National League (1892-present) Central Division (1994-present) Eastern Division (1969-1993) American Association (1882-1891) Major league titles World Series titles (9) 1982 â€¢1967 â€¢ 1964 â€¢ 1946 1944 â€¢ 1942 â€¢ 1934 â€¢ 1931 1926 NL Pennants (16) 2004 â€¢ 1987 â€¢ 1985 â€¢ 1982 1968 â€¢ 1967 â€¢ 1964 â€¢ 1946 1944 â€¢ 1943 â€¢ 1942 â€¢ 1934... Mike Matheny (born September 22, 1970 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio) is a catcher in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, and is considered one of the best defensive catchers to have ever played in the major leagues. ... Rick Ankiel is currently a pitcher for the St. ...


In numerous interviews, Wendell repeatedly told reporters that he wanted to play his last season in baseball for free. "I want my last season to be a testament to the game," said Wendell. "I only wanted a few things out of life -- a wife, children, to play baseball and to hunt deer." When he was informed that the Players Association (the union for major league players) would not allow him to play for free, Wendell said, "Then I'll drop out of the union when the time comes." ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


In March 2006, Wendell was quoted by the suburban Chicago Daily Herald as believing that former Cubs teammate Sammy Sosa "of course" used steroids. Wendell alleged that Sosa's home run totals increased significantly only after he began using steroids.[1] He also stated that "everybody in baseball" (including coaches, managers, and owners) knew about steroid use by players such as Sosa, and that he agreed with the information in José Canseco's book Juiced. The Daily Herald is a daily newspaper printed in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights. ... Samuel Sosa Peralta (born November 12, 1968 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic) is a right fielder in Major League Baseball in the free agency. ... Cansecos 40-40 season helped take the As to the World Series José Canseco Capas, Jr. ...


Contributions Off the Field

One of Wendell's favorite pursuits off the field was working with children.
One of Wendell's favorite pursuits off the field was working with children.

Wendell was also well renowned for doing a substantial amount of charity work during and after his career. Wendell was particularly dedicated to working with children through various organizations. Despite his explicit desire to not receive media coverage of his volunteer efforts (Wendell stated that he didn't want any recognition or notoriety for what he did), Wendell was given the "Good Guy Award" by the New York Press Photographers Association in 2000, in honor of his considerable contributions. Image File history File links Wendell_Childrens_Charity. ... This article refers to the act of selfless giving. ... A nonprofit organization (sometimes abbreviated to not-for-profit, non-profit, or NPO) is an organization whose primary objective is to support some issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes. ...


 
 

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