Robert Edward Chakales
(The Golden Greek or Chick)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Benedictine High School (Richmond)
- Debut April 21, 1951
- Final Game September 17, 1957
- Born August 10, 1927 in Asheville, NC USA
- Died February 18, 2010 in Richmond, VA USA
On June 3, 1945 season the Philadelphia Phillies signed Bob Chakales a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher as an amateur free agent. He was offered a signing bonus of $11,500, a huge amount for the time, as his father, restaurant owner Eddie Pete Chakales, pushed the Phillies into a bidding war with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Athletics for his son's services. The Phillies assigned him to the class A Utica Blue Sox where he went 0-3 out of the gate. He was then sent down one level to the class B Wilmington Blue Rocks where he went 13-5 for the remainder of the season.
He spent until 1951 in the minors, along the way being drafted by the Cleveland Indians from the Phillies in the 1948 Minor League Draft. After a fine 1950 season for the Wilkes-Barre Indians, where he went 16-5 and led the Eastern League with a 2.04 ERA, he got his shot with the major leaguers in 1951. On July 1st that year, he shut out the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader after Bob Feller had pitched the third no-hitter of his career in the opener.
Chakales divided his time between Cleveland and Indianapolis the next couple of years before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Vic Wertz early in the 1954 season. He was used mainly out of the bullpen while moving around the American League to the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox through 1957. Bob finished his major league career with a 15-25 record and a 4.54 ERA. A good hitting pitcher who homered in his first big league at bat, he hit .271 (26 for 96).
The right-hander spent four more seasons in the minors before winding things up in 1961, going 4-3, with the Hawaii Islanders. Bob had spent 16 active seasons in pro baseball from 1945 through 1961. Chakales did a yeoman's job in the minors, winning 113 and losing 73 while appearing in 295 games, pitching 1,542 innings, giving up 1,520 base hits and 786 base on balls for a career 4.56 ERA. Bob's hitting was also respectable, he had 137 base hits in 565 at bats for a .242 batting average.
After baseball, Chakales went into the golf course building business and from the early 1960s on, built over fifty courses in several states in the south. A past president of the Golf Builders Association of America, he resided in Richmond, Virginia in retirement before his death in 2010.