This Reds pitcher is the best player you've never heard of

Even the biggest Reds fan in the world has probably never heard of this pitcher.
Washington Nationals pitcher Ted Abernathy
Washington Nationals pitcher Ted Abernathy / Kidwiler Collection/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds have a long and storied history. The Queen City is the original home of professional baseball, and the Reds franchise was founded all the way back in 1882.

Over the last century, some of the greatest names in the history of the game have called Cincinnati home. Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, and Barry Larkin all donned a Reds jersey at one point in time during their Hall of Fame careers.

However, not every great player is going to be enshrined in Cooperstown. In fact, some of the best players in Reds history are not even in the Hall of Fame. It's probably unlikely that even the most diehard Reds fan remembers the name Ted Abernathy.

Ted Abernathy is the best Reds player you've never heard of.

Making his major league debut at the age of 22 for the Washington Senators, Ted Abernathy may have put together one of the most impressive seasons in Cincinnati Reds history.

Abernathy actually made three stops before settling in Cincinnati. A converted reliever after trying his hand as a starter in Washington, Abernathy pitched for the Senators, Chicago Cubs, and the then-Cleveland Indians before ending up with the Reds in 1967.

Coming into that season, Abernathy owned a 4.52 ERA in 311 games. However, two years prior to his Reds debut, Abernathy led the league in games pitched (84) and saves (31).

But it wasn't until the 1967 season with the Cincinnati Reds that Ted Abernathy truly shined. The reliever led the league with 70 appearances out of the bullpen and recorded 20 saves while posting a sparkling 1.26 ERA. Abernathy even received mild MVP consideration that season.

The next year, Abernathy would once again lead the league in appearances (79), but only converted 59.1-percent of his save opportunities. But Abernathy still put up a quality 2.46 ERA. Abernathy returned to the Chicago Cubs the following season.

Many fans of the Cincinnati Reds won't remember Ted Abernathy, but there was about a three-to-four year period when he was the best reliever in the game.

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