PITTSBURGH -- Kent Tekulve, the relief pitcher who fostered some of the brightest moments in Pirates history, and Mike LaValliere, the catcher victimized in one of the darkest, will represent the club at next month's First-Year Player Draft. The roles of Tekulve and LaValliere will be anything but honorary at the Draft. After Commissioner Bud Selig makes the announcement of all the First Round picks -- the Bucs will have the overall No. 8 choice -- the respective representatives of each club with a choice in the supplemental round will announce those picks. So after being properly introduced on MLB.com's webcast of the MLB Network live coverage, Tekulve and LaValliere will take to the podium to reveal the Pirates' pick at No. 45 -- the choice they received from Minnesota for the Twins' signing of free-agent catcher Ryan Doumit.
Tekulve showcased his unique submarine delivery in 1,050 Major League games, all in relief and all for the Pirates from 1974-1989. He earned three saves the last time the Bucs won the World Series, in 1979, in seven games over the Orioles. In 1992, the Pirates were one out from returning to the World Series when Francisco Cabrera pulled a pinch-hit single into Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium's left field to score David Justice from third base ahead of Sid Bream, who gimpy-legged his way home from second to slide under LaValliere's desperate lunge with the throw from Barry Bonds. The play giving Atlanta the 1992 National League pennant has been immortalized in Braves lore, and will be the subject of a bobblehead promotion at Turner Field on June 9. The annual First-Year Player Draft takes place this year from June 4-6, beginning with the first round and Comp Round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. Rounds 2-40 will also be streamed live on MLB.com on June 5-6.
MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list, Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, and Draft Caster. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.