Monday, June 24, 2013

no. 187 - ted abernathy

Who is the man: Ted Abernathy played for three teams in 1970, spending most of the season with his third team, the second-year Kansas City Royals. He won nine games in 36 relief appearances for K.C.

Can ya dig it: Abernathy is airbrushed into a Royals cap. You can see the hint of a Cubs jersey in the photo. Abernathy spent the 1969 season and started the 1970 season with the Cubs.

Right on: This is one of the first 1971 cards I ever owned. I remember being blown away by the fact that Abernathy was pitching in the major leagues in the 1950s. I had a card of a player connected to the '50s!!! The '50s seemed so far away and Abernathy seemed so old.

You see this cat Abernathy is a bad mother: In 1965, Abernathy set what was then the record for the most appearances by a pitcher in a season. He appeared in 84 games for the Cubs.

Shut your mouth: Abernathy, a submarine pitcher, was the inspiration for Kent Tekulve. Tekulve said he patterned his delivery after Abernathy when he decided to stop pitching overhand.

No one understands him but his woman: Abernathy was the only submarine pitcher in the majors for much of his career. He is looked at as the link from older submariners like Joe McGinnity to younger ones like Tekulve and Dan Quisenberry.

(A word about the back): The bio writer is going all the way back to 1952 for stats!


  1. Imagine how my head exploded when I had Jim Kaat cards in 1982-83 and he had pitched in 1959. May as well have been 1887 to my 7 year old brain.

  2. I did a little research, Aberthany's first game as a Royal was the first MLB game I every saw 7/2/1970. He was almost as good for the Royals as he was in the prime of career with the Reds. Oddly he was released after 1972 season when his ERA was a career best 1.70. (Maybe he was a player's Union rep at the time?)

    Aberthany was well known at the time because of his delivery and the fact that Cub's Saturday afternoon games (bear in mind pre-lights) were often shown on NBC's Game of the Week.

  3. And after he was released in 1972, the 40 year old went and pitched in A ball for the unaffiliated Wilson Pennants of the Carolina League in 1973.

  4. Are you positive about the airbrush? I think that is a Royals jersey.

  5. I'm not positive about anything as long as there is a comment section available on blogs. :)

    I guess it could be the Royals. I've looked at it as a Cubs uni since I was a teenager, and probably never looked at it with an "adult" eye.

    1. I'm pretty sure he's in a road Royals uni. The Cubs road jersey had a plain collar..this one has blue piping.

  6. Royals uniform hands down. 1. Cub uniforms had red and blue collar trim, the Royals had singular blue as shown. 2. The hue of sky matches the Royal cards taken at OYS (it's kind of distinctive) 3. The O in Chicago tails off on their uniform: If this was a Cubs uniform you'd see the other letters I-C-A-G spelling out CHICAGO. The lettering seen here is looping L in Royals.

  7. Another vote for this being a Royals uni...the "airbrushing" of the cap looks too realistic. Back then, all cards with airbrushed caps looked like Topps paid a 1st grader to do 'em so he could go out and buy the latest Hot Wheels set.