Venezuelan Chico Carrasquel was signed in 1949 by the
Dodgers, who then sold him
to the White Sox. Carrasquel's inability to speak English may have caused Branch
Rickey to move him. White Sox GM Frank Lane solved the communication problem by trading
journeyman pitcher Alex Carrasquel - Chico's uncle - for reliever Luis Aloma, who
served as the interpreter between Chico and manager Paul Richards. Replacing Luke
Appling, Carrasquel soon established himself as a top shortstop and batted .282 with
a 24-game hitting streak as a rookie in 1950. He broke an AL record by accepting
297 chances (in 53 games) without an error in 1951, and beat out reigning MVP Phil
Rizzuto as the AL's starting All-Star SS. But Carrasquel had trouble controlling
his weight, and in 1952 he was benched for lethargic play. In October 1955 Chicago
traded him with Jim Busby to Cleveland for Larry Doby. They had another Venezuelan
SS waiting in the minors - Luis Aparicio. Carrasquel became a legend in his native
Caracas, serving as play-by-play man on their Game of the Week.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 6, 1950: Boston P Ellis Kinder hits a grand slam off White Sox ace Billy Pierce, and totals six RBIs in the game. Kinder's HR comes after an intentional pass to Birdie Tebbetts. For "Old Folks," it is his first and only career homer. The Red Sox roll, 9–2. Kinder also stops rookie Chico Carrasquel's consecutive game batting steak of 24 games. Joe Dobson gives up seven hits in the nitecap and wins, 4–3, to give the Bosox a sweep.
»June 12, 1958: The A's and Indians swap shortstops, the Tribe getting Bill Hunter and the A's taking Chico Carrasquel.
»June 18, 1959: At Baltimore, Chico Carrasquel drives in two urns in both the 8th and 9th innings to give the Birds, a 6–7 win over the Tigers. Tiger star Al Kaline, hitting .357, fractures his shoulder and will be out of action.