| Ex-Bear Kitsos dies
He's remembered as a talented shortstop, who briefly played for the Chicago Cubs and was part of Mobile's 1955 Southern Association championship team
The Mobile Press-Register, Tuesday, June 08, 2004
By TOMMY HICKS Sports Reporter
Chris Kitsos, 76, a former Mobile Bears baseball player who made his home in Mobile following his playing days, died Monday of lung cancer.
A shortstop for the Bears in the mid-1950s who also played with the New Orleans Pelicans and briefly in the majors, Kitsos lived the final 46 years of his life in Mobile, according to his family.
Kitsos coached youth baseball after his playing days and was also an accomplished local golfer, winning the Mobile Metro title in 1971. He was also known for his work with the Mobile Parks and Recreations Department and as an employee of Mobile Gas.
"He was my first Little League coach," South Alabama baseball coach Steve Kittrell said of Kitsos. "He was such a nice man and a very knowledgeable baseball man. I couldn't have asked for a better coach to start with in my baseball career. ... He was good for Mobile youth baseball at that time. Because of his background, it was great for him to get involved with youth baseball when it was getting started in Mobile. He was a good influence and he coached with a lot of enthusiasm."
Kitsos played for the 1955 and 1956 Mobile Bears, the '55 team winning the Southern Association championship. He spent 10 seasons in the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization and played briefly with the Chicago Cubs in 1954.
Former Major League players Frank and Milt Bolling remembered Kitsos Monday.
"He was a good little ballplayer," Frank Bolling said. "I played against him one year when we were both in Triple A. I was in Buffalo and he was in Springfield. He was a good shortstop, had a lot of talent and was a good fielder with a good arm. ... He was real active in the youth baseball programs in Mobile. He was the type of guy you couldn't help but like him. He knew the game well and he loved to talk about baseball."
Milt Bolling said, "I never got to see him play, but everyone always talked about how good a player he was. He worked in baseball clinics and was a very good instructor."
Kitsos' golf game was pretty good, too. In 1987 he qualified for the U.S. Senior Open, and he played many rounds at Azalea City Golf Club. He had also played out of Skyline Country Club (now Heron Lakes Country Club).
Kitsos is survived by his wife, Sharlene R. Kitsos of Mobile; four children: Chris Thomas Kitsos of New Orleans, Jeffrey D. Kitsos of Mobile, Katherine Kitsos Flanagan of Mobile and John David Kitsos of Mobile; one sister, Fortino Romolo of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and 14 grandchildren.
Funeral services are scheduled Thursday at 10 a.m. at the chapel of Radney Funeral Home, 3155 Dauphin Street, with burial immediately following at Mobile memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Wednesday, 4-8 p.m., at Radney Funeral Home.
Mr. Christopher Anestos Kitsos -- Age 76, a native of Brooklyn, NY and a longtime resident of Mobile, died Monday, June 7, 2004.
Mr. Kitsos retired from the City of Mobile and was a former Major League Baseball Player and also played for the Mobile Bears.
He is survived by his wife, Sharlene R. Kitsos, Mobile; four children, Chris T. (Joyce) Kitsos, New Orleans, LA, Jeffrey D. (Allison) Kitsos, Mobile, AL, Katherine K. Flanagan, Mobile, AL and John D. (Samantha) Kitsos, Mobile, AL; one sister, Fortino Romolo, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; 14 grandchildren, Christopher, Jerrime, Joseph, Marty, Jamie, Benton, Nicholas, Shelby, Bridgett, Karrie, Christian, Kaycie, Brandon and Victoria; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends; K-9 companion, 'Little Bear'.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 10, 2004 at 10:00 a.m. from the chapel of Radney Funeral Home. Interment will be in Mobile Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be on Wednesday evening from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Arrangements by RADNEY FUNERAL HOME, 3155 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL.