The Obit For Ted Abernathy

Ted Abernathy, 71; Pitcher Led League in Saves With Cubs, Reds

From Times Wire Reports

Ted Abernathy, 71, a major league baseball pitcher who twice led the National League in saves during the 1960s, died of undisclosed causes Thursday in Gastonia, N.C.

In 1965, Abernathy recorded a league-leading 31 saves with the Chicago Cubs, along with a 2.57 earned-run average. He had 28 saves and a 1.27 ERA two seasons later with the Cincinnati Reds.

He pitched for seven teams during his 1955-72 major league career, appearing in 681 games and picking up 148 saves. He had a 63-69 win-loss record and a 3.46 ERA.

After shoulder surgery left his career in doubt, he changed his pitching motion from a three-quarter delivery to a sidearm style.

Abernathy made his major league debut with the Washington Senators. In addition to the Cubs and Reds, he also pitched for Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis and Kansas City.


GASTONIA — Ted Wade “Abby” Abernathy, 71, of 2211 Armstrong Park Road, died Dec. 16, 2004 at Belaire Health Care Center.

He was a native of Gaston County, son of the late Wade A. Abernathy.

FUNERAL: 2 p.m. Sunday, First United Methodist Church, Dallas.

INTERMENT: Gaston Memorial Park.

VISITATION: 7-8:30 tonight, McLean Funeral Directors, Gastonia.

Mr. Abernathy was a U.S. Army veteran and a member of First United Methodist Church, Dallas. He was a 1951 graduate of Stanley High School, played American Legion ball, member of the Major League Baseball Alumni Society, Gaston Lodge 263, York Rites and Oasis Shriner. He was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather and friend.

Ted spent 21 years playing baseball. He made his major league debut with the Washington Senators in 1955, and played for 6 additional teams over the next 17 years, including the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.

During the mid 1960’s and early 1970’s Ted set several major league records for relief pitchers and was honored as relief pitcher of the year in 1965 and again in 1967. After retiring from baseball in 1972 Ted worked at Summey Building Systems of Dallas, NC and later worked with his son Todd at Todd Abernathy Landscaping.

SURVIVORS: Include his wife of 51 years, Margie Clemmer Abernathy; sons and daughters-in-law, Ted Wade and Kendall Abernathy Jr. of Durham, NC, Todd Lee and Leisa Abernathy of Bessemer City, NC; mother, Genora McGinnis Abernathy of Stanley; grandchildren, Logan and Carly Abernathy of Durham, Roy and Lillian Abernathy of Bessemer City; brother, Richard Wayne Abernathy of Lincoln County, NC; sister-in-law, Shirley Abernathy; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Ray and Erma Clemmer, Nancy Rohm and L.H. Padgett; special aunt, Cora Nash of Gastonia; a number of nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.

PALLBEARERS: Logan Abernathy, Wayne Abernathy, Richard Abernathy, Ray Clemmer, Ricky Rohm and Kevin Rohm.

HONORARY PALLBEARERS: Roy Abernathy and Jack Hutchins.

OFFICIATING CLERGY: Rev. Carroll A. Flack and Pastor John H. Stanley.

MEMORIALS: First United Methodist Church, 301 W. Main St., Dallas, NC 28034.

ARRANGEMENTS: McLean Funeral Directors, Gastonia.