Thursday, February 5, 2009

#23 -- Ted Kubiak

Ted Kubiak

Check out Ted’s flowing hair. Another Spring Training shot. Those look like blue chaise lounges in the background on the hillside. Ted was one of the rotation of second basemen in Oakland, along with Tim Cullen, Dick Green and Larry Brown. Dick Williams would sometimes start one of them and then pinchhit every time the second baseman came up, even requiring Gene Tenace to put on a fielders mitt and play second. Ted couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag, his best slugging percentage only being .337. But he could play the field….

Most of the Rangers don't have a logo on their hats because Topps didn't want the Senators' logo on there. Ted, however, is showing off his thick rug because he finished 1971 with the Cardinals, coming to the Rangers for Shaky Joe Grzenda. Hard to tell if that's a photo taken with the Cardinals in late '71 or the Brewers in '70 or early '71. I'm going with the Brewers. I also found out in my research that he married the daughter of Irv Noren, a good 1950's outfielder and early 70's A's coach.

Ted was absolutely horrid with the stolen base. His best overall hitting season was 1970 with the Brewers, where he finished in the Top 10 in the AL in triples, sacrifice bunts, being difficult to strike out and intentional walks. They didn't list it, but I'm sure he was also Top 10 in lowest stolen base percentage (minimum 10 attempts). He was 4/13. For his career he was 13/35. That's below the Bill James line of 67%.

Ted wished Ed Phillips stayed in the big leagues longer than the 23 innings in 1970. Ted faced him 3 times, going 2-3 with a solo shot and a grand slam to right-center in Fenway. That was Ted's only 4-run homer and it came in a game that he had 4 hits and 7 RBI. He wasn't much at the plate, but he had hair! He's now the minor league defensive coordinator for the Indians.

The only other fun fact I could dredge up on Ted is that he has the same pose for his 1971 and 1976 cards (except for the cool, mid-70's mustache), shown below. I also got a much cooler signature on my 1972 card than appears as a facsimile on his 1971 card.


  1. Kubiak was a minor league manager in our town during the late 1990s. Let's just say he "tolerated" us podunk sports reporters.

  2. Love the contrast with the '71 and '76