For Wichita baseball lovers, Andy Teter was a hero whom younger boys looked up to and older ones admired for his skill and quiet grace.
A semi-pro player who played in the days when small towns and factories produced their own teams, Mr. Teter is a member of both the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame and National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame. His NBC career included a home run off of Satchel Paige and a walk from Tom Seaver, both members of baseballs Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Mr. Teter died Friday at the Kansas Masonic Home in Wichita. He was 86.
A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. Josephs Catholic Church, 132 S. Millwood.
I remember when he played for the Boeing Bombers, said former Wichita mayor Bob Knight.I used to love to see that team play at Lawrence Stadium. I used to work as a kid over there selling pop. I followed him that way and in the newspapers. He was a good ballplayer.
Mr. Teter was born April 5, 1927, in Wichita and grew up during the Great Depression. As a boy, he developed a quick fascination for sports.
He went to Cathedral High School when I went to North High School, and Andy was a star athlete, said friend Vern Miller, a former Kansas Attorney General, and Sedgwick County district attorney and sheriff.
He was one of the nicest persons you could ever meet but one of the most aggressive and hard players in the game. You knew you were in for a battle when Andy Teter was on the other side.
Before Mr. Teter graduated from Cathedral High School in 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. When his service was done, he returned to Wichita. He played baseball and basketball at Friends.
He also continued his minor-league baseball career, which had begun while he was still in high school. Mr. Teter would play four years in the Boston Red Sox organization .
He went to work for Boeing in 1949, where he stayed for 40 years before retiring in 1989.
Mr. Teter competed in 18 NBC World Series either as a player or manager. In 1954 and 1955, he was a member of the Boeing national championship team. He also played for Cessna, Service Auto Glass, Weller Indians, Instant Auto Glass and Bob Moore Oldsmobile.
As the years went by, Mr. Teter became known not only for his skill on the field but for a sense of humor.
Dad always claimed he had hit the longest home run in the history of Lawrence Stadium, wrote his son, Lon Teter, in an email to The Eagle.
How? There used to be a train track that ran parallel to the right-field wall of Lawrence Stadium.
Sometimes there were boxcars parked on the tracks and people would climb on top to watch the games for free. Other times trains were moving on the tracks. Dad said he hit a ball over the fence into an open boxcar, which was heading to Oklahoma.
We'll never know whether it really happened or was one of his tall tales. He certainly hit a lot of balls over that fence, so