Pete Delkus never did make the majors in five seasons as a pro. But, when it came time to find something else to do, for Delkus, his next choice of vocation was a natural one, he told The Orlando Sentinel in 1993.
"As a baseball player, I was always interested in the weather anyway, so I thought I would give it a shot," Delkus told The Sentinel, two months in to his new job.
That shot involved Delkus leaning back on his college education from Southern Illinois, where he majored in broadcasting. After an internship in Orlando's WFTV's sports department, The Sentinel wrote Delkus moved to the weather desk.
And he's been at one weather desk or another ever since. Since 2005, that desk has been in Dallas, the seventh-largest market in the country.
It was out of Southern Illinois University that the Twins signed the baseball player Delkus as an undrafted free agent.
Delkus started his pitching career at rookie Elizabethton, and he started off strong. In 21 relief outings, he gave up just five earned runs in 37.2 innings of work for a 1.29 ERA. He also saved eight games.
Delkus continued the next year at single-A Kenosha. He even bettered his Elizabethton performance. In 61 appearances, he saved a total of 33 games. In 68 innings, he also gave up just two earned runs for an almost non-existent 0.26 ERA.
Moving up to AA Orlando for 1989, Delkus went out for 76 games, for a total of 139.2 innings, and a still stellar 1.87 ERA. His save total hit 10.
It was in 1990, though, the Delkus began to slow down. Promoted to AAA Portland, Delkus turned in 65 appearances and an ERA he'd never seen before, 4.18.
He played just one more season, largely back at AA Orlando. Injuries that year, and an elbow injury the next spring meant Delkus' baseball career was done.
His weather career was just starting. After accepting his job at Orlando, Delkus went back to school to become a full-fledged weatherman. From Orlando, Delkus moved to Cincinnati's WCPO in 1995, then Dallas' WFAA in 2005. At WFAA, Delkus is the station's chief meteorologist.
In 2006, after he'd taken the job in Dallas, Delkus talked to MiLB.com, recounting the night in 1999 in Cincinnati when, expecting a storm, he spent the night at the station. He ended up being the only meteorlogist on the air when a deadly tornado hit at 4 a.m.
"It's just the way I was raised, and something that baseball reinforced," Delkus told MiLB.com in 2006. "Nothing is easy, you have to work for everything. So, with that mentality, my thought was 'This is just TV.' If you work hard, that's part of the job. There are so many parallels between TV and baseball; it really helped me become who I am."
- Orlando Sentinel, April 18, 1993: Funderbunk Feels 'Weird' Upon Return To Tinker Field
- MiLB.com, March 28, 2006: Forecast bright for former prospect