The Obit For Chico Carrasquel

Former All-Star Shortstop Carrasquel Dies at 77

05/26/05 13:51 EDT

CARACAS, Venezuela (May 26) - Former Chicago White Sox shortstop Chico Carrasquel, the first Latin player to appear in an All-Star game, died Thursday. He was 77.

Carrasquel, one of Venezuela's greatest baseball treasures, died of cardiac arrest before arriving at a hospital, said Humberto Sarraga, public relations director of Caracas Clinics.

Carrasquel played in the majors from 1950-59, and was a four-time All-Star with the White Sox. A nifty fielder, he teamed with Nellie Fox in Chicago to form one of baseball's best double-play combination.

In 1951, he started at shortstop for the AL in the All-Star game at Detroit and singled in his first at-bat off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts.

Carrasquel hit .258 lifetime with 55 home runs and 474 RBIs. He was traded after the 1955 season to Cleveland in a deal for Larry Doby, and later played for Kansas City and Baltimore.

Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel was the third Venezuelan baseball player to make it to the majors. He took over for Hall of Famer Luke Appling as Chicago's shortstop in 1950 - he had a 24-game hitting streak as a rookie - and was traded to the Indians to make room for another future Hall of Famer, Luis Aparicio.

Last year, before Ozzie Guillen's first home game as manager of the White Sox, three star Venezuelan shortstops threw out ceremonial first balls - Carrasquel, Aparicio and Guillen.

Carrasquel spent several seasons doing Spanish-language telecasts of White Sox games. He also worked in the team's community relations department until recent years.

During his later years, he suffered from diabetes. In 2003, he sustained minor injuries when he was beaten during a carjacking in Venezuela.