Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ted Kubiak (#281)

Ted Kubiak was a utility infielder for 10 seasons (1967-76), mostly with the Athletics. He had a card in every set from 1968 to 1977.

I am most familiar with his 1968 card, which denoted his position as “INFIELD”. So when I saw this 1969 card naming him as a shortstop, I was all ready to rip Topps for promoting him to one position, until I checked into his record today (see chart below).

Kubiak was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1961 and made his major-league debut in April 1967. Early in his career he was mostly a fill-in at 2nd base and shortstop.

Why did the Topps airbrushers use BLACK on many of the Athletics' caps in 1968 and 1969? Was green not available?

In December 1969 he was traded to the Brewers for pitcher Diego Segui and shortstop Ray Oyler.

1970 was Ted’s only year as a full-season regular. He started 156 games, playing almost every game at shortstop until moving over to 2nd base in mid-June.

Kubiak also started 77 of the first 104 games in 1971. Beginning at 2nd base, he moved back over to shortstop in early June. By the end of July he was traded to the Cardinals in a 5-player deal that saw Jose Cardenal and Dick Schofield head to Milwaukee.

Ted finished up the season with St Louis but was traded to the Rangers in November for pitcher Joe Grzenda. By mid-season in 1972 he was heading back to Oakland. As he bounced from team-to-team, he never again saw the regular playing time he had in 1970 and early 1971.

His final move was in May 1975, dealt to the Padres for pitcher Sonny Siebert. Ted was primarily a 3rd baseman with San Diego, a position he had rarely played previously. He played every day for his first month with the Padres, then returned to a utility role until retiring following the 1976 season.

Except for the transition from 1968 season to 1969 card, Topps was pretty accurate with the positions on Kubiak’s cards:

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