Reference Entry

Carrasquel, Chico

in American National Biography Online

Published online October 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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baseball player, was born Alfonso Carrasquel in Caracas, Venezuela, the son of a salesman for the Caracas Beer Company. He was the second of ten children and the nephew of Alejandro Carrasquel, who won fifty games pitching in the American League from 1939 to 1949. As a boy Alfonso excelled at baseball, playing in a league for sixteen-year-olds when he was only eleven. At fifteen he quit school to work (but mostly play ball) for the General Tire Company. When he turned eighteen he signed to play in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he attracted the attention of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who signed him to a contract and sent him to Fort Worth in the Texas League for the 1949 season. There Carrasquel hit a robust .315 and drove in 69 runs but ran into a roadblock on the way to the majors--the Dodgers already had a top shortstop in Pee Wee Reese. So they traded Carrasquel, who had picked up the nickname Chico in Fort Worth, to the Chicago White Sox for $25,000 and two minor players.

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