GASTONIA, N.C. -- Ted Abernathy, who twice led the National League in saves during the 1960s and pitched for seven teams during his major league career, died at 71.
He died Thursday, the McLean Funeral Home said yesterday.
Mr. Abernathy appeared in 681 games and picked up 148 saves during a career from 1955-1972. He had a 63-69 record and 3.46 ERA. He recorded a league-leading 31 saves with the Chicago Cubs in 1965, along with a 2.57 ERA. He had 28 saves and a 1.27 ERA two seasons later with the Cincinnati Reds.
He made his major-league debut with the Washington Senators in 1955. In addition to the Cubs and Reds, he also pitched for Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Kansas City.
Mr. Abernathy joined the majors after graduating from high school. He changed his pitching motion after shoulder surgery left his career in doubt, switching from a three-quarter delivery and becoming sidearmer.
"He had the ability to make great hitters look bad," his son, Todd, told The Gaston Gazette.