Turk Wendell Bio: Early Life, Baseball, Superstition & Contract

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Superstition is common in sports. Many players have different superstitions practices they follow before and after the game. Turk Wendell is one player whose name comes when hearing the word superstitions in baseball.

Wendell had many superstitious practices and was also awarded the title of the most superstitious athlete by the men’s Journal. 

Turk Wendell is a former American professional baseball pitcher. He was a relief pitcher and played for 4 teams in Major League Baseball. 

Turk Wendell age
Turk Wendell, a former American Pitcher

Nowadays, Wendell spends his time on his ranch doing hunting, fishing, and farming.

To find more details about Wendell’s baseball career, superstition routine, post-career, stay with us till the end. 

Quick Facts

Full Name Steven John “Turk” Wendell
Birth Date 19 May 1967
Birth Place Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA
Nick Name Turk
Religion Unknown
Nationality American
Ethnicity Unknown
Education Wahconah Regional High School, Quinnipiac University
Horoscope Taurus
Father’sName Charles D. Wendell
Mother’sName Beatrice Wendell
Siblings Charles (brother), Audrey, Tricia, Terri, and Debra (sisters)
Age 57 Years Old
Height 6 feet 2 inches (1.88m)
Weight 205 lb (92.9 kg)
Body Measurement Unavailable
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Batted Switch
Threw Right
Marital Status Divorced  
Ex-Wife Barbara McLoone
Children Wyatt Dylan Wendell (son), Dakota Karoline Wendell (daughter)
Profession Former baseball player
Net Worth $6 million
Salary Unknown
Amateur draft  1988 (112th overall)
Teams Chicago Cubs (1993-1997), New York Mets (1997-2001), Philadelphia Phillies (2001, 2003), Colorado Rockie (2004)
Active Since 2012- present
Social Media Unavailable
Jersey Number 99
Merch Jerseys, Jackets, Photos
MLB First Game 17 June 1993
MLB Last Game 13 May 2004
Career Record 36-33
Playing Career  1988-2004
Merch  Autographed Baseball Card, Signed Rawlings Baseball, Cleats, Rookie Card
Last Update July, 2024

Turk Wendell | Early Life and Family

Turk Wendell was born on 19 May 1967 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Born as the third child of six siblings, he has a brother named Charles and sisters named Audrey Tricia, Terri, and Debra.

Wendell’s father is Charles D. Wendell, and his mother’s name is Beatrice Wendell. His father was a foreman in General Electric. Likewise, his mother was a homemaker. 

Turk Wendell with his son
Turk Wendell with his son

The former player got his nickname Turk when he was 3 years old. His grandfather named him Turk after one of his buddies, as Wendell always did stupid things.


Wendell has always wanted to become a baseball player since he could remember. Growing up, he supported Boston Red Sox. Similarly, his favorite player was Carl Yastrzemski. 

Young Turk went to Wahconoah Regional High School, and in his senior year, he was named All-Western Massachusetts baseball team in 1985.

Later, for college, Wendell attended Quinnipiac University. He also played summer ball in Cape Cod League for Falmouth Commodores during his college days. 

Wendell graduated from college in 1988 with an associate’s degree in science and liberal arts.

Body Measurement & Playing Style

For a pitcher to succeed in baseball, one needs to have a strong upper and lower body. Wendell was a good pitcher with good physical strength to generate power while pitching. 

Wendell is 6 feet 2 inches (1.88m) tall and weighs around 205 lbs (92.9 kg). From calculating given height and weight data, Wendell’s BMI is 26.3.

In baseball, there are 7 types of pitchers. Turk was relieving pitcher for most of his career. He could throw a two-seam fastball, a slider, or changeup. He also threw a four-seam fastball which is considered as hardest.

Overall, Wendell was regarded as a pitcher having above-average control, average pitch movement, and below-average power. Likewise, he also had a good pick-off move. 

Read Also: Sean Hjelle: Baseball Career, Education, Wife & Children

Turk Wendell | Professional Career


In the 1988 amateur draft, Atlanta Braves drafted Wandel as the 12th pick. During his time at the minors league, Wendell was starting pitcher. 

While playing for Pulaski, his first season ended with 3 wins and 8 losses. Over 101 innings, Wendell strikes out 87 batters with a 3.83 ERA. During his minors seasons, only he started to get attention because of his routines.

In 1989, he split the season between Durham and Midwest. Later in 1990 and 1991, Wendell played for Greenville.

His first season was not quite impressive, but he bounced back and posted 11-33 with a 2.56 ERA in the second season.

Later in 1991, Wendell was traded to Chicago Cubs. He then played in their minor league system for two seasons.

MLB Debut

On 17 June 1993, Wendell made his MLB debut against the Cardinals.

Later, in 1996 Wendell played the best season of his playing career. Over 70 games, Wendell recorded 18 saves and a 2.84 ERA.

New Journey

During the end of the 1997 season, Cubs traded Wendell to New York Mets. Wendell started wearing number 99 since joining the Mets.

In 1998 Wendell set the club record by appearing in 9 straight games. Likewise, in 1999 Wendell got into his first postseason. 

Turk Wendell warming up
Turk Wendell is warming up.

In the 2000 World Series, Wendell pitched twice against the Yankees.

During 1999 and 2000, he led the team in games pitched. As Mets, Wendell appeared in 77 games with an ERA of 3.59 as average.

Later Career

In 2001, the Mets traded Wendell to Philadelphia Phillies. He quickly got acquainted with the Phillies’ spring training session.

Furthermore, Wendell missed the 2002 season because of an elbow injury. Later in 2003, he returned and appeared in 56 games with a record of 3-3 and an ERA of 3.38.

After the 2003 season, Wendell became a free agent. Although at Colorado Rockies, he wanted to play for free Player Association didn’t allow him. Wendell appeared in 12 games posting an ERA of 7.02.

Turk Wendell | Stats

Career 5.6 36 3.93 33 552 33 6 645.2 515 1.405

Turk Wendell | Superstition

Men’s Journal named Turk Wendell as the Most superstitious athlete.

Wendell and his superstitious practices always gave fans a show within a game. Wendell had many routines he would perform during or before, or after the game.

His teammates and coaches many times requested him to stop these routines. 

While getting in or out from the field, he always bounded high over the first or third baseline. Wendell always used to turn and wave to the centerfielder and wait until he waved back to start.

He would always brush his teeth between innings, slamming the rosin bag into the mound before facing batters. Likewise, he used to chew licorish during games. 

Wendell loves hunting, especially deer. He used to wear a shark teeth necklace created from the claws and teeth of different animals he hunted or killed.

Wendell used the necklace with the number 13 inside it during his early years.

Similarly, he would draw 3 crosses in the pitcher’s mound. As a result, Turk Wendell is today known mostly for these superstitious practices than his ability. 

Wendell thought socks were useless. At his sister’s wedding also he didn’t wear socks. So, later he switched to high-top shoes because of a lack of socks. 

Turk Wendell | Notable Works

Speaking against Steroid Use

In 2004 after signing with Colorado Rockies, Wendell publicly accused Barry Bonds of using performance-enhancing drugs via Denver Post.

Later, in 2006 Wendell told Daily Herald that his old Cubs teammate Sammy Sosa also used drugs. 

Turk Wendell and Rick Reed
Turk Wendell With His Former Mets’ Teammate Rick Reed

He further stated that coaches, managers, and owners are also aware of players using drugs. Wendell is the first major leaguer to accuse someone of drug use. 


Wendell has always been involved in charities during and after his baseball career. In 2000 New York Press Photographers Association awarded Wendell with Good Guy Award.

In 2006, as members of “Heroes of the Diamond Tour,” Wendell visited troops deployed in Afghanistan.

Later, after being inspired by the trip, he enlisted in Army after a return. But because of his color-blindness, he was denied active combat duty. 

Read Also: Tim Beckham Bio: MLB, Stats, Contract, Net Worth, Mariners & Dating

Turk Wendell | Post Career

From the beginning, Wendell had a plan of moving back to Iowa after his son graduated from high school.

In 2018 Wendell’s son graduated, and later, within 9 days, he moved back. Wendell calls Iowa God’s country.

In the past, Wendell had 209 acres ranch in southern Denver. He sold it, and currently, he owns around 47 acres of the ranch in Iowa. In addition, he purchased land and a house for $6,75,000. 

Likewise, he leases another 120 acres. Turk spends his time gardening, farming, and hunting. 

Wendell uses a utility terrain vehicle to drive up and down around trails and hills. Similarly, he uses John Deere Gator to move around his farm.

He works around farms during his odd days most of the time. He plants carrots, tomatoes, corn, chestnut trees, and zucchini in his backyard gardens.

Behind Wendell’s house, there is a hunting target setup. He traps and hunts deer also.

Likewise, in every room of his house, there are antlers. Wendell’s basement is full of autographed bats, framed jerseys and baseball cards, teammates’ bats. 

Although he doesn’t like the new extra-inning rule, Wendell watches baseball games. 

Turk Wendell | Salary & Net Worth

Wendell has gained fame and recognition and a big bank balance through his career in return for his hard work.

Turk Wendell earned over $14 million from his MLB playing career. As of 2024, Wendell’s net worth is $ 6million. 

In his rookie campaign in MLB, Wendell earned $1,12,000. As the year increased, his salary also increased.

After being traded to the Mets in 1998, he earned $6,61,500 during his first season. Later in 1999, Wendell signed one of the unique contracts in sports history.

To honor his jersey number 99, Wendell agreed to 3 years deal worth $9,999,999.99. Even after being traded to the Phillies in 2002, he still earned 6 figure salary.

Although Wendell was offered $9,00,000 from Chiba Lotter Marines from Japan, he intended to go home to Colorado.

Later, he signed a reduced minor league deal of $7,00,000 with the Colorado Rockies. 

Turk Wendell | Love Life and Kids

Turk married Barbara McLoone on 1 February 1997. But in 2009, they divorced. They have two children named Wyatt (son) and Dakota (daughter). 

Just like their father, both of his children follow many superstitious practices. Dakota is an All-American soccer player from Minnesota State.

She always wears the same white headband during matches and avoids stepping on painted lines during the game stoppage. 

Wyatt is a pitcher for Indian Hills Community college. He follows some of his father’s crazy traditions.

Turk Wendell | Frequently Asked Questions

What was the Turk Wendell necklace made of?

Wendell used to wear the necklace, made from the claws and teeth of different animals he hunted or killed. 

What is the name of Wendell’s ranch?

The former baseballer’s ranch is called the Wykota ranch. He came up with the name by blending his kids’ names, Wyatt and Dakota. 

The ranch is located in Larkspur, Colorado. Besides that, he also has a Wykota farm in Iowa. Turk has always been fond of Iowa and moved there when his son graduated high school. 

Did Steve Rosenbloom write about Turk Wendell In Chicago Tribune?

Steve Rosenbloom is a former Chicago Tribune sports columnist who often wrote about Turk Wendell in his articles. 

Has Turk Wendell played against Andrés Galarraga?

Yes, the two have often played against each other while active players in the MLB.

Did Turk Wendell win the contest against Lance Armstrong?

Yes, the two had a “who has more testicles” contest that Wendell won by 7. 

What is the MLB stats of Turk Wendell?

Wendell pitched over 552 innings in his MLB career. Likewise, he won 36 games and lost 33. Similarly, he had earned a run average of 3.93 and 515 strikeouts overall. 

What gift did Taijuan Walker receive from Turk Wendell?

Turk Wendell sent a care package to Taijuan consisting of a turkey spurs necklace, wild boar’s tooth, licorice, and toothbrush.

After receiving the gifts, Taijuan confirmed that we would be wearing the Turk Wendell’s shark tooth necklace in his next star.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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