Bob Chakales

Robert Edwards Chakales [sha-kuh'-les] (August 10, 1927 – February 18, 2010) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with four different clubs between the 1951 and 1957 seasons. Listed at 6'1", 185 lb., Chakales batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Asheville, North Carolina.

Originally a starter, Chakales also filled various roles coming out from the bullpen, as a closer or middle reliever. He reached the majors in 1951 with the Cleveland Indians, spending three and a half years with them before moving to the Baltimore Orioles (1954), Chicago White Sox (1955), Washington Senators (1955–57) and Boston Red Sox (1957).

In his rookie year Chakales recorded two of his three wins helping himself with the bat, going 7–for–20 (.350) with one home run and six RBI. His most productive season came in 1954, when he posted career highs in wins (5), strikeouts (47), earned run average (3.43) and innings pitched (99.2) in 41 pitching appearances (six as a starter). After that, he was part of various trades that included players as Vic Wertz, Don Ferrarese, Clint Courtney, Johnny Groth, Jim Busby, Milt Bolling and Faye Throneberry.

In a seven-season career, Chakales went 15–25 with 187 strikeouts and a 4.54 ERA in 171 games, including 23 starts, three complete games, one shutout, 10 saves, and 225 walks in 420⅓ innings of work. As a hitter, he posted a .271 average (26–for–171) with one home run and 10 RBI.

He was nicknamed The Golden Greek. One of his favorite quotes was: First came Hercules, then came Socrates, then came Chakales – the greatest Greek of all!.

Chakales died in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 82.

By Dean Hanley

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