Fred Arbanas, former Michigan State football and Kansas City Chiefs star, dies at 82

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Associated Press
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Chiefs tight end Fred Arbanas, a key member of their first two Super Bowl teams in the 1960s’ and ‘70s who later had a long career in county politics, has died. He was 82.

The Jackson County Democratic Party in Missouri, for which Arbanas was a major player for more than four decades, announced his death in a brief statement Saturday. No cause was given.

Arbanas grew up in Detroit and attended St. Mary's of Redford before excelling for Michigan State from 1958-60. In 27 games for the Spartans, he had 20 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns. In 1960, he was drafted in the second round (No. 22 overall) by the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals and in the seventh round (No. 51 overall) by the AFL's Dallas Texans. Arbanas signed with the Texans and was a member of the Dallas team that won the 1962 AFL title. After the club moved to Kansas City, he helped the rechristened Chiefs reach the Super Bowl in 1967 and 1970.

Jan. 15, 1967 in Los Angeles: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Fred Arbanas (84) and Green Bay Packers defensive back Herb Adderley (26) leave the field after the Packers defeated the Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Jan. 15, 1967 in Los Angeles: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Fred Arbanas (84) and Green Bay Packers defensive back Herb Adderley (26) leave the field after the Packers defeated the Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Arbanas, a member of the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame, was a six-time all-AFL selection and was picked to the All-Time AFL Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 118 games with the franchise, he had 198 catches for 3,101 yards and 34 touchdowns. He made three All-Pro teams, getting the nod in 1963, ’64 and ’66.

After his playing career, Arbanas served more than 40 years in the Jackson County Legislature in Missouri. He was so influential in working with the local parks system that a golf course was renamed in his honor in 1999.

Arbanas was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012.

Free Press sports writer Ryan Ford contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Fred Arbanas, former Michigan State football and AFL star, dies at 82