1979 Team Reflects On 40th Anniversary Of World Series

They also weigh in on what they like about the 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates

Matt Harkins
July 20, 2019 - 8:12 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Prior to Saturday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates honored the 40th Anniversary of the 1979 World Series Champoinship.

The members of the 1979 team always enjoy getting together because the personalities are still the same and they still interact the same way.

"It's hard to believe it's 40 years number one," said Kent Tekulve. "It seems like yesterday we we're in Baltimore freezing our butts off in Game 7, but we get together every 5 years and every 5 years it's kind of the same thing. It's really refreshing because when we get together, personality wise, emotionally, we all kind of feel like we did back then, so I'm 32 years old now. Today I'm 32 years old because I'm hanging out with these guys and doing the same types of things that I did when I was 32. Before the night's over with, Garner and Parker will be in some kind of an argument about something because they always do and always did."

All the members of the 1979 team in attendance Saturday talked about Willie Stargell and what he meant to the team as a leader of that team on and off the field.

"Willie was the backbone to the club, he kept everybody on the even keal," said Parker. "He was the leader, ain't no other way to put it. He was a universal personality and that was implicated in the way that he played the game and the way that he led."

It's been 40 years since the Pirates last World Series victory and Parker never thought the it would have been this long since Pittsburgh has won a World Series.

"It's been something, 40 years, I never would have thought the Pirates would have went 40 years without doing it again," said Parker. "It hurts, It hurts because I know what this organization was made of when I first signed in 1970 and it just don't go with the tradition that the Pirates reflect every year they go out there."

When looking at the 2019 Pirates team, the members of the 1979 team like the young talent they see on the field and believe they are close to getting back to where they want to be.

"I just hope this team could start it back right now, but they need to try and get out of this slump and I think they'll prove that they can do it," said Rennie Stennett. "They got the talent, I don't know if they have an outspoken leader, I don't think they have that. I think Bell's a quiet guy to and he's coming out really great. I think they play together, I think the manager, the coaches do a great job with them and I think they can get it back together and I'm not surprised if they can still get in the playoffs and go for it this year."

Tekulve has really enjoyed watching Josh Bell and this year's Pirates offense.

"The thing I like most about this year's team as opposed to the last year is we're scoring runs," said Tekulve. "The pitching staff has been a mess all year long because of the injuries, you can't do anything about that. But, I like the fact that we've got some younger players that have come in and not only are they individually hitting and getting the job done, but we're scoring runs on a much more consistent basis. If you look 1960, 1971, 1979 and Leyland's teams in the 1990's, when you had good year's and you won, the Pittsburgh Pirates have always had good offensive teams in those years."

The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates really were like a family and you can still see it whenever they get together for these reunions.

Listen to the entire 1-on-1 conversation with 1979 Pirates Closer Kent Tekulve Below:

Listen to the entire 1-on-1 conversation with 1979 Pirates Second Baseman Rennie Stennett:

Listen to 1979 Pirates OF Dave Parker's conversation with the media Saturday below: